30 Nov 2014

McCullum, Williamson put NZ in control

1:32 pm on 30 November 2014

The New Zealand cricketers are firmly in control of the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah, thanks to captain Brendon McCullum's blistering double hundred.

McCullum put on a record 297-run stand with centurion Kane Williamson, before he was out for 202, as the Black Caps reached 637 for eight at stumps on the third day.

They hold a first-innings lead of 286.

Brendon McCullum is congratulated by Kane Williamson after the skipper's dismissal for 202

Brendon McCullum is congratulated by Kane Williamson after the skipper's dismissal for 202 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

McCullum fell two balls after completing his fourth double hundred in tests, the fourth fastest ever, but the visitors continued to pile on runs.

Williamson also reached his eighth hundred in the morning and was out for 192, his highest Test score, by the first ball after tea as New Zealand, trailing 1-0 in the series, continued to score runs at a fierce pace.

Resuming on 249 for one, the aggressive duo of McCullum and Williamson hit boundaries off pacemen and spinners at will on their way to breaking New Zealand's record for the highest second-wicket Test partnership.

The 33-year-old McCullum, who hit 21 fours in his 188-ball knock, got past his double-hundred against leg-spinner Yasir Shah with his 11th six but was bowled round his legs in the same over while attempting a sweep shot.

The celebration was again muted in memory of Australian Phillip Hughes, who died on Thursday after being hit on the neck by a bouncer two days earlier, with both sets of players continuing to wear black armbands.

There was also no jubilation from Williamson after he drove Mohammad Talha for a boundary to bring up his century.

Kane Williamson celebrates his ton in Sharjah

Kane Williamson celebrates his ton in Sharjah Photo: PHOTOSPORT

While McCullum was brutal in his strokeplay, the 24-year-old Williamson manufactured his runs with grace and timing.

He continued to drive New Zealand on after his skipper's departure and added 116 for the third with Ross Taylor, who hit a half century and was out for 50 - Yasir's second victim.

Williamson edged paceman Rahat Ali straight to Younus Khan at the lone slip position after hitting 23 fours and a six during his 244-ball knock.

Rahat, who took four for 89, also dismissed Corey Anderson after the left-hander had scored a quick-fire 50, studded with seven boundaries and two huge sixes.

Yasir picked up his third wicket in the form of Tim Southee but not before he had further dented the morale of Pakistan's bowlers by hammering another quick-fire 50 for New Zealand, who have already posted their third-highest score in Tests.

Before the start of the day's play the New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum read a statement regarding the death of the Australian batsman Phillip Hughes.

"On behalf of the BLACKCAPS I want to make the following statement.

Our focus at the moment is not on our performances, it is all about Phil.

We are heartbroken for Phil's family, Greg, Virginia, Megan and Jason. No one should go through what you guys are going through right now.

We are reaching out to Phil's family, Michael Clark and the Australian boys, medical staff, fans, all who have been affected by Phil's passing. We are also reaching out to Sean Abbott.

You are all in our thoughts, our hearts and in Phil's case, our memories.

Cricket is a sport, but the cricket community is a family.

We are here for you, we are thinking of you."