Williamson leads New Zealand into strong position against Pakistan

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Kane Williamson put New Zealand in a strong position, nearing a century against Pakistan after day one of the first Test.

The Black Caps captain reached 94 not out to guide New Zealand to 222-3 at the close of play at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.

Shaheen Afridi (3-55) had put Pakistan on top early after they elected to bowl, but Williamson and Ross Taylor led the hosts' response.

Taylor departed for 70 in what was a milestone appearance as he broke the record for most games for New Zealand in all formats with 438.

Henry Nicholls (42) was unbeaten alongside Williamson at stumps with the Black Caps in position to build on day two.

Pakistan made the most of the early conditions as Shaheen reduced New Zealand to 13-2.

Shaheen had openers Tom Latham (4) and Tom Blundell (5) caught at third slip.

But Pakistan would be left to rue dropping Williamson, Shan Masood putting down a tough chance when the New Zealand captain was on 18.

Taylor and Williamson predictably led the Black Caps' response, combining for a 120-run third-wicket partnership.

Williamson brought up his 55th score of 50-plus in Test cricket, equalling the New Zealand record held in the format by Stephen Fleming.

Shaheen struck again to remove Taylor caught behind before Nicholls was dropped on six in a further setback for Pakistan.

The second new ball almost brought another wicket for Shaheen, Williamson – on 86 – edging to first slip where Haris Sohail was unable to grab a low chance.