Most people believe that Kane Williamson will end up as the greatest New Zealand batsman of all time. For those, who didn't, his match-winning hundred against South Africa in ICC World Cup would force a rethink. In an innings that showed his true quality, Williamson tackled difficult batting conditions to see his team through to a successful chase of 242-run target.
The reason why this average looking score turned out to be so difficult was the nature of the wicket. With the ball not coming on and holding up, timing was difficult and most batsmen struggled to get going. A great helping hand came from Colin de Grandhomme who dashed his way to a brilliant half-century at more than run-a-ball, thanks to some unnecessary and counter-productive short-pitch bowling from South Africa.
But when de Grandhomme was dismissed, New Zealand were still not home. They needed 14 off 10 on a surface where hitting sixes and fours was looking very tough. The South Africans decided to bowl good-length cutters to ensure that timing the ball was very difficult.
With 12 needed of 7 deliveries, Williamson was on strike. Facing him was an in-out field which made it difficult for him to attempt a big stroke or look for a quick single. His response was to masterfully guide the ball through the empty slip region, fine enough to beat the short third man fielder for four. This shot reflected the prowess of Kane as he managed to time a slow delivery, a very difficult task, to perfection.
With 8 needed of the last over, Mitchell Santner was on strike. He got a single off the first ball to bring his captain back on strike. Once again, there was an in out field and a slower delivery coming his way. Williamson decided that time has come for a decisive blow. He went down on one knee and smashed the delivery from Andile Phehlukwayo for six over midwicket to level the score and bring up his hundred. The timing again, was absolutely precise. The next ball was guided away between short third man and backward point to seal the victory. Williamson once again showed he is a true genius.