Bradley-John Watling has made history by becoming the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to hit a double century in a Test, what with his match-winning 205 against England in the first Test to be played at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. This was the tenth instance of a Test double ton by a designated wicketkeeper, and the 18th instance of a Test ton by a designated New Zealand wicketkeeper.
On that note, here is a look at the six highest Test scores by New Zealand wicketkeepers.
205 by Bradley-John Watling v England, First Test, Mount Maunganui, 2019-20
New Zealand were 127/4 in reply to England’s 353 when Watling walked out. He added 70 for the fifth wicket with Henry Nicholls, 119 for the sixth with Colin de Grandhomme, and a national-high 261 for the seventh with Mitchell Santner (126) on the way to a gutsy 205 that took 473 balls and 667 minutes, and featured 24 fours and a six. New Zealand marched to 615/9, before winning by an innings and 65 runs.
185 by Brendon McCullum v Bangladesh, Ony Test, Hamilton, 2009-10
The highlight and turning point of the Black Caps’ 121-run win in this one-off Test at Seddon Park was a sixth-wicket stand of 339 – then a new New Zealand record – between Martin Guptill (189) and McCullum. The duo came together at a wobbly 158/5, and were instrumental in enabling their team to declare at 553/7. McCullum faced 272 balls during his 322-minute stay, and struck 17 fours and three sixes.
With his innings of 205 against England at Mount Maunganui, BJ Watling became the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to score a double century in Test cricket (source – AP)
173 by Ian Smith v India, Third Test, Auckland, 1989-90
Leading the three-match series 1-0, New Zealand fell to 131/7 at Eden Park, after which Smith put on 103 with Richard Hadlee (87). But it was during his 136-run ninth-wicket stand with Martin Snedden that he went into overdrive, and was last out at 391 for a blitzkrieg 173 (the highest Test score by a number nine) off 136 balls in 237 minutes, hitting 23 fours and three sixes. The match was ultimately drawn.
152 by Warren Lees v Pakistan, Karachi, 1976-77
The first wicketkeeper to score a Test hundred for New Zealand was Lees, whose 152 at the National Stadium helped improve his team’s total from 104/5 to 468 after Pakistan had amassed 565/9. Lees shared in a stand of 186 for the seventh wicket with Richard Hadlee (87), and hit 21 fours and two sixes during his 338-minute innings. Lees also top-scored with 46 in the second innings, thus ensuring a draw.
143 by Brendon McCullum v Bangladesh, First Test, Dhaka, 2004-05
New Zealand’s first Test in Bangladesh, at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, ended in a comprehensive win by an innings and 99 runs. Though Bangladesh were bowled out for 177, they stayed in the hunt by reducing New Zealand to 139/5. But McCullum batted for 339 minutes and faced 243 balls to score 143, his maiden Test hundred, to boost the total to 402. His innings consisted of ten fours and two sixes.
142* by Bradley-John Watling v Sri Lanka, Second Test, Wellington, 2014-15
When New Zealand lost their fifth second-innings wicket, their lead was just 24. But Watling joined Williamson (242*) to script an incredible turnaround through a record sixth-wicket stand of 365*, which powered the hosts to 524/5. Watling, who was also part of the previous-best sixth-wicket stand, scored 142* from 333 balls in 479 minutes, with nine fours and a six. Set 390 to win, Sri Lanka were all out for 196.