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Cricket: Zimbabwe batch of tons the last time a Black Cap has passed 100

Ross Taylor finds the boundary before rain stops play at Seddon Park, Hamilton in the second cricket test against Pakistan. Photo / David Kerr.
Ross Taylor finds the boundary before rain stops play at Seddon Park, Hamilton in the second cricket test against Pakistan. Photo / David Kerr.

New Zealand's century drought has extended to a seventh match with no batsman reaching three figures against South Africa, India and now Pakistan*.

The last time a Black Cap passed 100 was in the second test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, where Tom Latham, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor made their 5th, 14th and 15th centuries respectively.

There have been four scores over 75 since.

Williamson made 77 and Henry Nicholls 76 against South Africa at Centurion, while Luke Ronchi scored 80 and Williamson 75 against India at Kanpur.

Jeet Raval (35) and Taylor (29) are poised to try to end the jinx if there's play on the second day at Seddon Park in Hamilton today.

Before this test, New Zealand had scored 272 centuries in 421 matches. There have been five other instances where the national side has completed more than six tests without a ton.

The biggest dearth came in the 15 tests between John Reid's 120 against India in Kolkata on December 29, 1955 and Zin Harris' 101 against South Africa in Cape Town on January 2, 1962.

Entire series against the West Indies and England (home and away) passed in the interim.

The most recent major ton shortage came in the seven between Taylor's 154 not out against England in Manchester on May 24, 2008 and Tim McIntosh's 136 against the West Indies in Napier on December 21 of the same year.

Centuries are not the be-all and end-all of test cricket.

An example was New Zealand rustling up a comfortable eight-wicket win in the first test against Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch without one.

However, a volume of runs tends to help, especially with the current Seddon Park surface looking a batting challenge in the early throes.

The seven-test period between John Wright's 141 against Australia at Christchurch in 1982 and Martin Crowe's 100 against England at Wellington in 1984 saw New Zealand defeat Sri Lanka 2-0 at home and post their first win in England at Edgbaston in 1983.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Parore's 100 not out in the drawn test against the West Indies in Christchurch in 1995 staved off a wider gap in centuries.

His was the first in four matches; it was 10 more before Craig Spearman made 112 against Zimbabwe in 1996.

The first significant century-less spell covered 15 years from 1932 (Giff Vivian 100 v South Africa) to 1947 (Walter Hadlee 116 v England), a period punctuated by World War II.

*Includes the 15-2 against South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban which still constitutes test status despite the match being abandoned on the second day due to poor ground conditions.

Century droughts

Test gap dates

15: December 29, 1955-January 2, 1962.

10: February 6, 1995-January 23, 1996.

7: May 24, 2008-December 21, 2008.

7: March 22, 1982-January 23, 1984

7: March 4, 1932-March 21, 1947

- NZ Herald

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