Kane Williamson hinted strongly at a prosperous future by propping up State Northern Knights against State Championship rivals State Otago Volts in Dunedin today.
The 18-year-old struck 82 as the visitors posted 223 for seven on the first day of the four-day game at University Oval.
He looked very organised at the crease as he frustrated the Otago bowlers, who had reduced Northern Districts to 62 for three after play started late due to morning rain.
In just his second first-class appearance, Williamson, batting at No 5, showed why he made age group national teams as he fused solid defence with thoughtful strokeplay.
He and wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan shared a stand of 79 for the fifth wicket before McGlashan, looking to work the ball to leg, was trapped leg before wicket for 32 by offspinner Nathan McCullum.
McCullum also caused Williamson's downfall after three hours of watchful defiance, with the teenager playing a poor shot in edging behind to wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder after helping himself to seven fours and one six.
Earlier, left-arm seamer Neil Wagner had made an immediate impression for Otago when he removed opener Cameron Merchant for a golden duck in the first over.
The 23-year-old South African, who has settled in Dunedin with a view to gaining New Zealand citizenship, enticed the left-hander to lean forward only to guide a catch to Neil Broom at second slip.
Wagner later induced another edge to remove Michael Parlane for 41 as he finished the day with figures of two for 34 off 15 overs.
Wagner was one of three players debuting for the Volts, alongside Hamish Rutherford, the 19-year-old eldest son of former BLACKCAPS captain Ken Rutherford, and former international Ian Butler.
Butler, who shifted south from the Knights to prolong his first-class career, made an impact with the ball as he captured two for 51, including the scalp of visiting captain James Marshall for 12.
McCullum was tidy, taking two for 43 off 22 overs.