Premier New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson showed his prowess in the shortest format as his smashing innings powered Northern Knights to a convincing seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka's Southern Express in a rain-curtailed opening game of the Champions League T20 in Raipur on Saturday.
With heavy downpour and a soggy outfield reducing the match to 10-overs per side, Southern Express managed 92 for five in 10 overs, which was easily surpassed by the Northern side with three balls to spare as Williamson led the charge with a 29-ball 52.
Known for his solid technique in Tests and ODIs, Williamson showed his class with some copybook hitting, showing classical footwork against the spinners, hitting seven fours and a six.
He started with a lofted straight four off leggie Sekkuge Prasanna but he literally pounced on off-breaks from Danushka Gunathilaka. He made room to hit the spinner over extra cover and also danced down the track to hit a six over mid-on. In between, he had swept him for good measure for another boundary.
Williamson was especially severe on Charith Jayampathi as he played some flowing cover drives and was also quick to swat anything that drifted down the leg-side.
He completed his half-century off 28 balls with a lofted boundary off former Sri Lankan seamer Ferveez Maharoof before being played on off the very next delivery.
However by the time Williamson was back in the confines of the dressing room, the Northern Knights had the match in their pocket with only seven more to get off nine balls.
Scott Styris and Daniel Harris safely saw the Kiwi outfit home.