New Zealand went to the interval at 599 for six, a lead of 302.

CHRISTCHURCH (AFP) – A relentless Kane Williamson notched his fourth double century as New Zealand built a commanding first innings lead in the second Test against Pakistan in Christchurch on Wednesday.

After a marathon stay at the crease, the New Zealand captain was dismissed just before tea for 238 as New Zealand went to the interval at 599 for six, a lead of 302.

Williamson batted for nine hours 33 minutes after going to the middle in the 20th over.

Along with Henry Nicholls, he rebuilt the innings after New Zealand were reduced to 71 for three on Monday’s second day.

Nicholls was eventually dismissed early in the afternoon session for 157 after the pair had put on 369, the third best all-time partnership for New Zealand and a record for the fourth wicket.

The day resumed with New Zealand 286 for three, 11 runs in arrears and with conditions favourable for the bowlers who had cloud cover and a ball only five overs old.

But for every plan Pakistan set to dismiss Williamson, the world’s number one batsman had an answer with a range of strokes from silky touches to powerful drives.

As showers swept in during the afternoon session, and the lights were on in the gloom at Hagley Oval, Shaheen Afridi had a glimmer of hope that when Williamson, on 177, edged the first ball after an hour-long rain disruption but the chance was dropped by Azher Ali.

It was a rare mistake by Williamson who scored a single on the first ball he faced after the second rain stoppage to join Brendon McCullum as the only two New Zealanders to score four double centuries.

Williamson also became the third Black Cap behind Ross Taylor and Stephen Fleming to pass 7,000 runs.

Nicholls, dropped on 92 and 133, was hampered by a calf strain which left him hobbling between the wickets.

But he was still able to attack, with boundaries producing 48 of his 68 runs on day three, before he top-edged a short ball from Mohammad Abbas and was caught at deep fine leg.

BJ Watling had short stay, scoring seven, before Daryl Mitchell joined Williamson at 452 for five and the pair added 133 for the sixth wicket.

Mitchell was still there on 69 at tea with Kyle Jamieson not out 10.