Cricket-Watling hails 'New Zealand great' Williamson

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New Zealand v England - Second Test

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Kane Williamson is all business when he takes the crease but playing alongside one of New Zealand's all-time greats is still a lot of fun, said wicketkeeper BJ Watling after the hosts took control on day two of the first test against Pakistan on Sunday.

Williamson completed his 23rd test century at Mount Maunganui, showing why he is considered one of the premier batsmen of his era along with India's Virat Kohli, Australian Steve Smith and Joe Root of England.

"He has just become a father, and it was a special innings for Boxing Day. He just set us up for a big total," Watling said after the hosts posted 431 in their first innings and reduced Pakistan to 30-1 in the series opener. [L4N2J603K]

Williamson hit 12 boundaries and a six in his 129 before Watling (73) added 66 runs for the seventh wicket with Kyle Jamieson to stretch their tally.

"You can look at some his shots, and he's pure class," Watling said of his captain.

"Twenty-three centuries is pretty special, and he'll hate me for saying it, but he's right up there among New Zealand's greats, isn't he?

"There's not a lot of chat when batting with him but playing with him is obviously a lot of fun."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford)