When we ruled the cricket world
After Kane Williamson and BJ Watling’s heroics at the Basin Reserve, I was going to list all the world records New Zealand cricketers have set. But it’s become a nightmare. New Zealand is sometimes a cricket minnow but our players have been setting world records for decades and there are dozens of them. Even omitting first- class cricket ( sorry, Bert Sutcliffe), Twenty20 (sorry, Brendon McCullum) and one-day internationals (sorry, Corey Anderson), there’s a formidable list of test recordholders.
So, in the spirit of compromise, here (in order) are my 10 favourite world records involving our test cricketers:
Richard Hadlee, 431 wickets when he retired in 1990. Our cricketing knight didn’t hold the record long and Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan really rushed past him but when Hadlee set his record in 1988, it was a proud moment.
Kirsty Flavell, 204 against England at Scarborough in 1996. Flavell became the first woman to score a test double century after 62 years of tests. Since then four others have done so.
Brian Hastings/ Richard Collinge, 151 runs for the 10th wicket against Pakistan at Auckland in 1973. The unlikely stand saved the test and remained the 10th wicket world record until 2013. Collinge’s 68 not out was also the best for a test No 11 batsman.
Andrew Jones/ Martin Crowe, third- wicket partnership of 467 against Sri Lanka at Wellington in 1991. Their stand not only saved a test but was the highest for any wicket in a test, and the highest for the third wicket in all first-class cricket. Crowe made 299 while Jones made 186.
Kane Williamson/ BJ Watling, sixth wicket partnership of 365 against Sri Lanka at Wellington in 2015. Williamson (242 not out) and Watling (142 not out) batted 112 overs to turn a desperate position into a winning one.
Brendon McCullum/ BJ Watling, sixth wicket partnership of 352 against India at Wellington in 2014. They came together as New Zealand faced defeat and added 352 over the next nine hours and 123 overs to save the match. McCullum made 302 and Watling scored 124.
Ian Smith, 173 against India at Auckland in 1990. Smith rescued a dire situation when he smashed 173 off 136 balls on the opening day of the test. It remains the highest score by a No 9 test batsman.
Nathan Astle, 222 against England at Christchurch in 2002. Astle needed only 153 balls to reach his double-century, easily the fastest in tests ( though McCullum nearly beat it in Auckland last month).
Chris Cairns, 87 test sixes when he retired in 2004. When Cairns signed off, he had smote three more sixes than previous record-holder Vivian Richards. Adam Gilchrist holds the record with 100 but McCullum, on 92, will surely soon own it.
John Reid, 58 consecutive tests from 1949 until 1965. Reid, the strongman of New Zealand cricket, never missed a test through his 16year career. His record has since been dwarfed but at the time spoke volumes for his durability.
So there’s my top 10, with apologies to Craig McMillan, Danny Morrison, the seven batsmen who smashed 22 sixes in New Zealand’s 690 against Pakistan in Sharjah in November, Chris Martin, Richard Hadlee ( for omitting his other feats), Jimmy Neesham, Stephen Fleming and others with world test record claims.
One record definitely not in my top 10 is New Zealand’s dismissal for 26 against England at Auckland in 1955. It’s a record no team would want, but has stood firm during the 1703 tests that have followed.
Batting heroes: BJ Watling, left, and Kane Williamson celebrate their world record partnership at the Basin Reserve.