Central Districts batsman hits fifth century in his last five Plunket Shield matches

Carl Cachopa can't stop making centuries.

When the oldest of the three South African-born brothers playing New Zealand domestic cricket hit his career-high 179 not out for Central Districts against Auckland yesterday, it was his fifth in the last five Plunket Shield matches in which he has had a bat.

The run began last March, also against Auckland.

He missed out in a badly rain-affected game against Wellington before completing his third hundred of last season at Napier against Northern Districts.


Two in three innings in the past week maintained a fine record. Cachopa is averaging 77 since the start of the year.

His contribution yesterday, made off 297 balls in 455 minutes, carried CD to 430 for nine and at stumps; Auckland were in trouble at 80 for four, having lost three wickets in one over from seamer Andrew Lamb. Opener Tim McIntosh was on 17 after two hours at the crease, captain Gareth Hopkins on 27.

Cachopa is not a name which would have been rattling around the national selectors' heads a short time ago, but it should at least have been noted by now.

Weight of runs must count.

New Zealand aren't good enough to think otherwise.

Consider that Martin Guptill, New Zealand's player of the year at last month's national awards, has scored only seven in 69 first-class matches. Cachopa has five in his 25th match.

The 26-year-old, who was born in Bloemfontein in South Africa, has already made a mark for New Zealand in the test arena.

He caught Brian Lara off Shane Bond while fielding as a substitute in a test at Eden Park in 2006.

In between stints with Auckland and now Central Districts, Cachopa took himself to Adelaide and did time with the Redbacks' second XI in South Australia.

He switched to CD two summers ago.

Brad Cachopa, 24, has left Auckland and moved to Canterbury this season, while Craig Cachopa, 20, is playing in Wellington.

In the other shield game, Northern Districts ended the second day against Otago in Hamilton on 120 for two in their second innings, leading overall by 26 runs.

There were half-centuries for openers Brad Wilson and Joseph Yovich.

The star turn yesterday came from former Auckland player Jimmy Neesham, who hit his maiden century, 124 off 168 balls, to carry Otago to a handy 94-run first innings lead.

On fire, Carl Cachopa's first-class record this year:

•8 and 20 (v Northern Districts, Gisborne, Feb 17-20)

•27 and 40 not out (Otago, Queenstown, Feb 24-27)

•28 and 108 (Auckland, Napier, March 2-5)

•151 and 4 (Canterbury, Nelson, March 9-12)

•DNB (Wellington, Wellington, March 18-21)

•111 and 38 (ND, Napier, March 26-29)

•105 and 29 (Wellington, Napier, last week)

•179 not out (Auckland, Napier yesterday)

•Runs: 848, average 77.1