Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

NZ's best ODI centuries

Herald on Sunday cricket writer Andrew Alderson lists the greatest ODI tons by New Zealanders including new entrant Martin Guptill following his 189 against England.

1. Martin Crowe 100 not out v Australia, 1992, Auckland
Arguably New Zealand's most significant one-day innings because it captivated a nation previously ho-hum about the country's World Cup chances at home. Crowe pulled and drove his way to a ton with one ball remaining. He late cut a single on 99 which had Chris Cairns scrambling to make it at the striker's end while Crowe raised his arms in delight jogging to the bowler's end. The crowd invaded and had to be ushered off for the final ball. Crowe's innings was the catalyst for a rare win over Australia. New Zealand went on to win seven straight matches before losing to Pakistan in their last pool match and semi-final.

2. Stephen Fleming 134 not out v South Africa, 2003, Johannesburg
Fleming stocked his innings with on-drives and cuts to keep New Zealand in contention for the Super Sixes at the World Cup. His better than a run-a-ball knock led New Zealand to victory by nine wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis method at the Wanderers; a vital result given their next match was forfeited in Kenya due to security concerns. Fleming took runs from Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini to chase an adjusted target of 226 from 39 overs. It was New Zealand's first one-day win in nine attempts away against South Africa and pushed the hosts towards eventual tournament elimination.

3. Chris Cairns 102 not out v India, 2000, Nairobi
Cairns was the architect behind New Zealand's first tournament win, beating India in the final of the ICC KnockOut (which morphed into the Champions Trophy). The century had Cairns' signature; a peppering of boundaries through the cover to mid-on arc. Even leg spinning legend Anil Kumble needed a taxi to collect his offerings as they disappeared over the Gymkhana Club fence. Cairns' flick off the hip to long leg with two balls to spare saw New Zealand home. His run down the wicket with arms spread personified unbridled joy.

4. Martin Guptill 189 not out v England, 2013, Southampton
Why is Guptill's innings so significant? Please choose from the following: a) it helped New Zealand win the series with a game to spare b) it backed up his Lord's 103 not out two days earlier which was previous uncharted ODI territory for a Kiwi c) it equalled Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards for the highest score in an ODI against England d) he bolstered a team coming off a low ebb after being trounced in a test series e) it trumped Lou Vincent's previous highest score against Zimbabwe in 2005 by 17 runs f) all of the above.

5. Craig McMillan 117 v Australia, 2007, Hamilton
McMillan came to the wicket with New Zealand flailing at 41 for four in the 10th over and played an innings of cold fury. He used his weighty blade - the "Smasher" - to slap Australians around Seddon Park in what seemed a futile chase for 347. New Zealand got there (350 for nine in 49.3 overs) because McMillan gave them belief. When he came to the wicket, they needed 306 runs at 7.49 an over; when he left they needed 66 runs at 7.61. He'd sustained a run rate of 7.46. His 67-ball hundred remains the fastest by a New Zealander in a one-day international.

6. Ross Taylor 131 not out v Pakistan, 2011, Pallekele
Taylor produced an innings of two bizarre halves to help beat Pakistan and bolster fading public belief in the team's chances at the 2011 World Cup. The innings lasted 124 balls but was split into 76 runs from 111 and ... 55 from 13. That surreal baker's dozen from Shoaib Akhtar and Abdul Razzaq produced four fours and six sixes. Akhtar's ninth over went for 28 runs; Razzaq's fourth went for 30. Any doubts about Taylor's ability to lead from the front were laid to rest on what was also his 27th birthday.

7. Nathan Astle 122 v England, 2002, Dunedin
With the series level at 2-2, Astle's ton was the difference between two evenly-matched teams. Chasing 219 to win, Astle balanced the pinch-hitting and anchor roles perfectly. He hammered his first 50 from 42 balls (including 46 in boundaries) before easing to his second off 85. He dispatched Andrew Flintoff into the stands to finish the game with seven balls to spare. Astle, in 223 matches, has 19 per cent (16 of 86) of all New Zealand's ODI centuries (Stephen Fleming is second with eight) and is 12th equal on the international list. He is level with Adam Gilchrist, who played 64 more matches, and Tillakaratne Dilshan who played 35 more.

8. Scott Styris 101 v Australia, 2005, Christchurch
Styris' knock was the spine of a then world record run chase of 332 for eight with six balls to spare. It was surpassed by South Africa hauling in Australia's 434 at the Wanderers the following March. Styris delivered composure; seizing on any loose Australian bowling, posting his ton at better than a run a ball. Brendon McCullum finished the game off but Styris was man-of-the-match. The win broke a duck of eight straight losses against Australia and avoided a Chappell-Hadlee Trophy white-wash. It followed frustration three nights earlier when New Zealand fell three short chasing 322.

9. Chris Cairns 102 not out v South Africa, 2002, Brisbane
Channel Nine commentator Bill Lawry described Cairns' ton as "one of the best one-day knocks we have seen in 25 years of [one-dayers on] television". Cairns was one of the game's best entertainers and he blasted a cover drive on the first ball of the last over to post his century, win the match and take New Zealand into the tri-series competition lead. That was quite a feat given the strength of the Australian and South African sides. New Zealand eventually lost to South Africa in the finals but it made splendid summer viewing for fans.

10. Mark Greatbatch 102 vs England, 1990, Leeds
Greatbatch's maiden one-day international century came under considerable pressure at Headingley, chasing down England's 295 for six with one ball to spare in a 55-over game. He made his century in the final over, finishing with 102 off 104 balls, after combining with Ian Smith to hammer 37 off the last four overs. Greatbatch followed with 111 in the second and final ODI at The Oval. It was the first time a New Zealander had scored consecutive tons in the one-day format.

11. Martin Guptill 122 vs West Indies, 2009, Auckland
Weather meant there was no result but Guptill deserves a spot for creating history. He became the first New Zealander to carve out a century on ODI debut. Guptill slotted in behind West Indian great Desmond Haynes (148) on the list of highest debutant scores. The highlight was his unconventional means of getting to 100. On 97, he danced down the wicket and pasted spinner Chris Gayle over mid-wicket into the top tier of the Eden Park's west stand.

12th man. Bruce Edgar 102 not out v Australia, 1981, Melbourne
Doesn't make the 'tons squad' because it was in a loss, but a memorable one nonetheless. Edgar's century came just before The Underarm Incident. The opener had batted through the innings but was watched the last over helplessly as Richard Hadlee and Ian Smith were dismissed and Brian McKechnie faced the final ball from Trevor Chappell under orders from brother Greg. After the denouement Edgar still had the presence of mind to give the siblings the fingers through sausage batting gloves. It was the first of just two ODI centuries made by New Zealanders at the MCG (Stephen Fleming made the other, 116 not out, in 1997 early in his captaincy tenure).

- NZ Herald

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