On Friday Northern Knights batsman Bharat Popli joined Martin Crowe, Jeff Crowe, Graeme Hick and Michael Papps in the elite group of batsmen to have scored 1000 runs in a New Zealand first-class season.

The unassuming 25-year-old from Tauranga achieved the mark against Canterbury at Hagley Oval when he reached 32 in his second innings of 92. With another possible two innings to come this summer, Popli is not done yet.

His first class statistics make impressive reading. He has scored 1456 runs from 32 innings in just 19 matches at an average of 48.53. He has made three centuries, all scored this season, and eight half-centuries with a highest score of 173.

Brett Hampton, a former team mate of Popli's in the Tauranga Boys' College First XI, took his best first class bowling figures of 4-78 in Canterbury's second innings. Hampton backed it up taking 2-20 in the second innings as the match ended in a draw.