In his 50th Test match and a day short of 26 years old, Kane Williamson completed a full set of centuries against all nine other Test playing nations. He is the youngest player to achieve the feat, the 13th overall and only the second among the current crop of internationals, after Younis Khan.
Having already celebrated three of the innings that contributed to Williamson's rise - his debut century against India in Ahmedabad, a subcontinental success in Sri Lanka and getting his name on the Lord's honours board - ESPNcricinfo now takes an in-depth look at Williamson's full house.
Coming into the third Test of the series at 1-0 down, New Zealand were 83 for 5, chasing 389. South Africa were on the hunt for a second win and their attack was throwing everything at them. But nothing would dislodge Williamson. He survived a close call on 7, when a catch was not given, was dropped on 10 and 22, and then had to resist a rampant Morne Morkel, who hit him several times. Williamson saw out a session and a half with the tail, scored the only century by a home batsman in the series and secured the draw. Brendon McCullum said it would go down in New Zealand cricket history as one of the "gutsier and more fighting efforts," of its time.
With centuries in Ahmedabad and Colombo, Williamson's ability in subcontinental conditions had already been proved and he merely underlined that in this innings. Against a Bangladesh attack with five specialist bowlers and several spin options, Williamson dominated from the first ball he faced but was equally adept at adjusting to defence. His back-foot play was the hallmark of this knock, with delicate dabs, drives and cut, which allowed him to assert himself on the hosts.
In their own backyard, New Zealand slipped to 30 for 3 in the first innings, before Williamson and McCullum got together to add 221 in a stirring rescue effort in which they scored at more than four runs an over. On a grassy surface, under overcast skies, Williamson was not just calm but aggressive early on. He maneuvered the ball into gaps, forcing MS Dhoni to spread the field. He had a lifeline on 32 when an edge was not taken and went on to hook Mohammad Shami and Zaheer Khan for six in a race to his century, which came off 138 balls. New Zealand ultimately won that match by 40 runs and won the series 1-0.
After scoring a century in New Zealand's first Test victory in Jamaica, Williamson went even bigger in the decider in Barbados. New Zealand conceded a first-innings deficit of 24 runs and were 56 for 2 in their second innings before Williamson anchored New Zealand into a position of authority. Against spin on a tricky surface, Williamson's footwork allowed him to negotiate through tricky periods and his patience paid off. The bowlers eventually deferred to his strengths and runs came in the areas he enjoys scoring in - behind square on the offside and through midwicket. Williamson's 161 not out allowed New Zealand to set West Indies a target of 308, which proved enough for them to win their first series away from home against a top-eight nation in 12 years.
A rare lean patch saw Williamson struggle in the first two matches of New Zealand's tour of the UAE but he made up for it in the third. While Brendon McCullum smashed the then fourth-fastest double century in Tests, Williamson played second fiddle but only just. He charged at the spinners, dismissed short balls with characteristic back-foot dominance, brought out plenty of short-arm pulls, and dealt with reverse-swing. Perhaps most impressive in his showing was the restraint Williamson showed in the immediate aftermath of Phillip Hughes' death. Although never hugely emotional, Williamson was even less so despite what he was achieving. He fell eight runs short of a double ton but helped New Zealand to an innings-and-80-run victory, which saw them square the series.
Williamson only had to wait just over a month for his first double, and it was a sweet one. New Zealand conceded a 135-run first innings deficit against Sri Lanka and then slipped to 79 for 3 in their second innings. This meant that they needed a big effort to avoid sharing the series spoils. Enter Williamson. He switched gears from a cautious first hundred, in which he was dropped on 29 and 60, to an attacking second one - although he was reprieved again on 104 - which helped New Zealand set Sri Lanka a target of 390. In the process, Williamson put on 365 with BJ Watling, the highest sixth-wicket stand for New Zealand. The hosts won the series and McCullum lauded Williamson, predicting he could become "New Zealand's greatest ever batter."
England racked up 389 in the first innings of Williamson's second Lord's match but he was not to be outdone. Martin Guptill and Tom Latham laid the foundation with a century opening stand and Williamson built on that in signature style. His innings was an execution in elegance and timing, laced with delicate drives and steers to a vacant third man area. He pushed the scoring rate towards four to the over and went to 92 overnight before having his name inscribed on the honours board the next day. New Zealand took a first-innings lead of 134 runs but it was not enough for them to win the match.
If New Zealand had started to think they were coming out of the shadows of their geographical big brother Australia because of recent gains, David Warner and Usman Khawaja showed them they had not. They scored aggressive centuries in the opening match in Brisbane as Australia declared on 556 for 4. New Zealand's only answer was Williamson. He was the only batsmen to get a score above 50 and went on to almost triple his returns. He scored 68% of his runs in boundaries, picking gaps well, and complimented his cut shot with the leg-side paddle. He saved New Zealand from the follow-on but could not cushion them from defeat.
In his first series as Test captain Williamson announced himself with 91 in the opening match and went one better in the next. On a flat Queens surface against an attack with neither express pace nor mystery spin, this may have been the least Williamson was challenged on his way to three figures but it still required the right mindset. Without underestimating his opposition, Williamson applied himself patiently to the task, took his time on a slow, low surface and worked his way towards a full set of centuries.