AS I SEE IT(4 March)

By Terry O’Neill.

What? Volunteers made redundant?

Volunteering is an integral New Zealand response whereby people selflessly offer services, skills and time for the benefit of others. Every community has people who do their bit with grace, skill and charm.

It can be a two-headed coin. Each volunteer gives to meet a particular need and is often surprised to receive a sense of accomplishment, fellowship, and contentment, the blessings of true generosity.

 A recent Oamaru Mail article on Girl Guides in North Otago suggested the national body is “revitalising”, whatever that means, so it can fulfil its goals of developing self-esteem, confidence and leadership, and a centralised business and administration arm will reduce the work of volunteers in these fields. But to maintain the national “ivory tower”, annual fees for each Girl Guide must be increased from $180 to $300, though in some cases there may be a decrease. Some local guide leaders believe the fees may push the movement into an elite club beyond the reach of many including loyal families with Girl Guide members throughout generations.

When former Prime Minister Rob Muldoon introduced the “think big” philosophy mixed results evolved, and now it appears some organisations which survived, and indeed grew, applied this philosophy in a very practical way. The Society for the Intellectually Handicapped (IHC), Save the Children (SFC) and Riding for the Disabled (RDA) are but three which experienced, and resisted in some cases, the nudges or heaves towards centralisation. Many local branches had a rich complement of competent volunteers before top-of-the-tower decisions effectively attempted to bypass this invaluable resource of experience and support. “Bigger would be better”. Maybe.

Centralisation appears to require paid “executives” whose salaries enable them to direct and organise the remaining, often disillusioned, volunteers. And this rejection of volunteer input ultimately affects the vitality and growth of local support for the national body and its dedicated services.

It’s a New Zealand “thing” to support financially what we believe to be worthy  organisations. I wonder how many find it offensive when a wealth of attractive glossy material regularly is sent out to squeeze even greater donations from already dedicated supporters of the institution?  Exactly how much of each regular donation contributes to such simplistic unsolicited expensive-looking material.  Many charities come to mind.  Surely regular voluntary subscribers could be spared this practice? Sincere volunteers and supporters are too valuable to be treated with disrespect.

Sports bodies are feeling the impact of a smaller volunteer base, and I don’t apologise for bringing this up again. Often loyal supporters hold positions of responsibility for long periods, and are the butts of criticism because nobody is willing to ‘step into their shoes’. Eventually, burnt out, the stalwarts eventually take their skills and drop off the code’s radar into oblivion.

In these days of semi-professional sport, there’re suggestions from some volunteers that those getting paid should do all the work!  But is this just a cop out?
    

ENDS

AS I SEE IT (19 Feb)

Waitaki Aquatic Centre

By Terry O’Neill.

swede

A Smorgasbord (Swedish) suggests sandwich and table, so we have a mixture today.

Regularly I am privileged to propel myself through the waters of the Waitaki Aquatic Centre, one of the district’s most used sporting facilities.

Waitaki Aquatic CentreAnd we are indebted to Adair and David Rush whose foresight and enthusiasm motivated the fund-raising for the complex. With the rise in drowning statistics and reduction in the number of school swimming pools, mainly due to lower funding, this pool is needed more than ever for basic life skills.

At the other end of the learn-to-swim focus it produces high class young swimmers including a number of qualifiers for the national junior age group championships in Auckland later this month.

Swimming demands discipline. Local competitive swimmers train usually from 6.00a.m to 7.30a.m with many from afar breakfasting at the pool before heading for a full school day, and back for a further training later with coach Narcis Gherca. It is interesting to note that North Otago will supply more swimmers to the coming national age group championships in Auckland than South Canterbury and Dunedin!

Is it time to look at establishing a sports complex to replace the Waitaki Recreation Centre in Orwell street? Its beginnings in the 1980s arose at a joint Oamaru Borough/Waitaki County meeting as an exciting compromise to meet community needs and the requirement for Waitaki Girls’ High School to replace its obsolete gymnasium. The Rec’s seen much better days.

Waitaki Boys’ High School and St Kevin’s College have gymnasia used also by community sports teams. The three schools are major contributors to North Otago’s economy and a new complex would certainly be an added attraction for pupils from outside the region as well as for locals. Maybe it will be thrown “into the too hard basket”, but we are the custodians of our future.

North Otago cricket won the Hawke Cup last weekend defeating Buller. Hearty congratualtions!

This trophy is competed for by the 22 minor cricket associations in New Zealand, and is divided into four zones. Each zone plays a round robin tournament and zone winners may challenge the current holder. North Otago first held the trophy in the 2009/2010 season appropriately 100 years after it was donated by Lord Hawke. Last weekend’s win means North Otago must prepare for its first challenge, from Hawkes Bay, in a week’s time.

Rugby League completes the smorgasbord. The competition begins on March 3rd with the Warriors playing West Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium at 9.30p.m. The “leaguies” also have new rules to interpret this season. There’ll be differential penalties for incorrect play of the balls. The old ploy of forming walls to prevent charge downs on field goal attempts will allow referees to penalise for such obstruction. The “shot clock” will be introduced with teams now having 30 seconds for scrums and 30 seconds for dropouts or the offending team has to concede a penalty.Now that’s something that rugby doesn’t have yet.

ENDS

NNNN

Onwards and upwards methinks.

ENDS

AS I SEE IT (5 FEB)

By Terry O’Neill.

The local rugby season kicks off on 2nd April. Leading up to it local clubs will mirror other Heartland clubs and battle to e

 

nsure full premier squads, an increasingly difficult assignment.

Polynesian players are an integral part of the Heartland scene. Many unions made derogatory comments about North Otago’s inclusion of Pacific Island players but North Otago was simply the forerunner of today’s necessity. A couple of seasons ago former All Black and Mid Canterbury lock  Jock Ross told me that some Mid Canterbury clubs only survived in premier ranks because of inclusion of Pacific Island players. Similar to all other Heartland unions.

The all-important necessary visas for Pacific Island players are not easily obtained and often are only for a set time. In some cases Pacific Islanders arrive on student visas to attend school, and play rugby, and others can apply for work visas under a skills’ shortage category or there is the specific purpose or event category, a rugby visa, for one year that may be renewed.

The North Otago Rugby Union does not actively recruit Tongans who generally arrive because of family or friends here. NORFU CEO Colin Jackson said the Union tended to go to Europe, USA or Canada for recruitment and over the past eight years more than 70 players have been under this scheme in North Otago.

Putting aside claims from some white rugby supremacists, without Polynesians there would be no premier rugby locally because of our small population base. Polynesians’ natural talents see many promoted to the top of the North Otago rugby tree to fill the gap created by the lack of other skilled young local players.

But it’s not one way traffic. Over the last two northern seasons local players, Jeremiah Shields, Keegan Anderson, Kayne Middleton, Thomas Shields and Jared Whitburn, all spent a rugby season overseas. It’s not only a rugby experience they benefit from, it’s a life-enhancing experience too.

In addition local rugby clubs Athletic, Kurow, Excelsior, Maheno and Valley have made direct contact with overseas rugby unions and clubs and obtained players.

It’s a conundrum how Immigration NZ treats Pacific Islanders. For instance, French, Italian or Argentinian players may live here for a year or eighteen months without any problem while most Pacific Island players work visas entitle them to be here for only six months and they’ve got to head home if they have no other suitable employment skills to offer in New  Zealand.

Clubs and minor unions don’t seem to receive much support from the New Zealand Rugby Football Union. When will NZRU boffins realise that to ignore the deterioration of New Zealand’s rugby base will not augur well for those higher up the rugby food chain? And in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji  how long will they be able to retain their World Cup status?

ENDS

AS I SEE IT (29J)

bowls

By Terry O’Neill

Bowls North Otago successfully completed its women’s pentangular tournament last weekend involving Senior women and Development women from the five Centres south of Christchurch: South Canterbury, North Otago, Central Otago, South Otago and Southland.

Teams played singles, pairs, triples and fours on two greens in Oamaru in over 100 games superbly organised by Brian Papps and umpires, Bruce Kelly and Graham Thorn, and with cooperation from the other four centres. The senior womens section operated smoothly.

And the “But” . . . Unfortunately Southland and South Canterbury, neglected to provide essential details of their development womens teams, and listed names only with not an iota of information about team composition and skips. As the tournament began on the Saturday morning, umpires had the additional stress of seeking this information. Hopefully a robust message educated those centres on their basic responsibilities.

This scenario may be indicative of a sports administration trend in which even more is expected to be done by the responsible, declining few. It’s an unfettered malaise that has evolved over the four decades I have been associated with bowls and other sports .

Blame may rest at the feet of professionalism whereby the national bodies tend more to be concerned with promotion of those exclusives at the top of the food chain. In too many cases the roles of governance and management are clouded. Let’s hark back to the days of the late Arthur Familton who, as North Otago secretary, ran bowls with a very firm hand although some might agree his  “firm” might have been be a tad lenient. Governance is the aspect of the committee which decides policy, and management involves those appointed to apply that policy to their sport. The two have become integrated to the detriment of sport. Only time hopefully, and a change in attitudes will ensure a more favourable response to the tasks demanded of administrators.

Can you imagine dealing with a multitude of bowls results on scorecards attributed to Tom, Sandy, Jude, Margie, and the like? These do not identify the players to anyone outside the intimacy of the green so it would be appreciated if full names of skips and players are always recorded.

Meanwhile it’s time to celebrate local sport. The North Otago Sports Bodies annual Sportsperson of the Year function is early March at the Opera House. Once again over fifty individuals have been nominated by their respective sports over a wide range of codes ranging from equestrian horse cutting through to trap shooting, motorcross and downhill mountain biking. Coaches are acknowleged too with Narcis Gherca (swimming), Owen Gould (Rowing), Ray Boswell (trap shooting and hockey),and Hamish McMurdo (cricket/rugby refereeing).

The traditional award for Administrator of the Year may be now be  covered by the Services to Sport award. Sports administration is often a thankless task.

Let’s salute these behind-the-scenes sports people who make things happen. Without their fastidious care, knowledge, humour and leadership, sports could not function.

ENDS

AS I SEE IT(22 /1)

liniment

By Terry O’Neill.

There are those who claim that to grow, one must change often.If this is true, the International Rugby Board would appear to have become almost rabid, when compared with its approach to changes in the past.Change for the sake of change has little chance of being accepted and when looking at rule changes to the game one might well ask,why?

Whether it has been the drop in temperature at the beginning of this week or whether the build up of super rugby stories has been some motivation, I feel  that the 2016 rugby season is approaching, or maybe its just a throwback to the whiff of liniment used prolifically in my time.Today liniment would have been looked upon as an performance enhancing additive, although it could have quite an impact on tender parts of the anatomy!

The 2016 rugby season will bring law changes although not necessarily across the board. Why introduce law changes at the first class level before club level is a bit of a mystery to me but rugby fans will have to get used to the fact that the beloved  “ruck” will no longer be in the rugby vocabulary, replaced by “breakdown”.Hands will not be allowed by the tackler thus negating the skills of Richie McCaw and David Pocock.Get used to the idea that there will be two referees on the paddock and that penalty tries will be worth eight points,a try worth six points and a penalty is reduced to two points.

The new “breakdown” will form as soon as just one attacking player is over the ball on the ground.The old “gate” is gone and as long as players come from their side of the ball they may enter at any angle.At the breakdown  it is proposed  that the offside line will be a metre back from the hindmost foot of the hindmost player. It is expected that  this will encourage defending teams to contest the breakdown more often instead of just creating picket fence defensive lines. It is envisaged that the “lead” referee will look after the breakdown and the second whistle blower will scrutinise the offside line.

The proposed laws have been trialled in domestic competitions in Australia, South Africa and Wales.In Australia it was noticeable that kicks at goal were reduced and there was a lot more kicking for touch but a lot more tries were scored,although on the negative side there were more yellow cards issued as the value of penalties had been reduced.

With the local club rugby set down to kick off on April 2nd, the Saturday after Easter, the North Otago Rugby Union is waiting for information from the NZRU as to which,when and if the law changes will be invoked.

It appears that the Citizens Shield and other competitions will utilise only the change in points for tries and penalties.One problem that will arise with the two referee suggestion is that with four referees,two assistant referees(line umpires) and the two on field referees, required for each game it may mean  that lower grades could suffer.

For those looking further afield the Heartland competition will start a week later on the 22nd August with the finals set down for 29th October after Labour weekend.

AS I SEE IT (18Dec)

 

NO rugby against AS

North Otago players celebrate as Bill Pile scores the game-winning try against Australia at the Oamaru Showgrounds in 1962. Photo from ODT files.

By Terry O’Neill.

This year’s North Otago’s sporting prowess is renowned despite the low population of this district . . .

Development of our swimming talent is the success story of 2015. Seventeen local swimmers under coach Narcis Gherca brought home a massive total of 45 medals, set 76 personal best times, and many qualified for the 2016 national age group championships. Take note of swimmers like Micah Hayes, Tandia Gooch, Jasmine Emery, Danny Gilbert, Iessha Mansfield, Tiana Mansfield and Imogen Keeling.

Oamaru rowing club administrator Peter Scott maintains the eighty active rowers on the water this season makes the club in the biggest in its 128th year and comprises School, Club, University and Masters rowers. Most satisfying for him is the great parent support and mingling of all local secondary schools.   At last weekend’s regatta Oamaru’s Mark Taylor, Charlie Wallis, Jared Brensell and James Scott were outstanding.

North Otago rugby’s consistency has been the key to significant performances over the last two decades. The playoff systems for initially divisional, and later the Heartland competitions, have been in existencefor nearly two decades.North Otago has made those playoffs on nineteen times since 1997 taking titles on four occasions. 2015 was no exception with Lemi Masoe and Ralph Darling again making the NZ Heartland XV.

The North Otago senior cricket side is currently only one match away from winning the zone four Hawke Cup challenge repeating last season’s effort. This season the team had two outright wins against  Otago Country and Southland. And there’s games coming up against South Canterbury (9/10 Jan) in Oamaru and Mid Canterbury(23/24 Jan) in Ashburton.

Winning the Ian Smith Trophy for only the fourth time was the feature of the North Otago mens hockey side this year. On an individual basis Logan Jopson and Jonty Naylor took a further step in their development being selected in the Southern under 18 side. On the club scene Waitaki Boys’ first X1 won the second division South Canterbury title beating Tainui B,3-0 in the final.

Valley Gold won the2015 premier grade netball title beating Waitaki Girls’ Wildfire in a thriller late in August. Wildfire led by four at the end of the first quarter, three at halftime, and two at three-quarter  time before Valley Gold stormed back to win 37-35. Jennifer O’Connell was impressive for the Waitaki Girls’. Her ability was further confirmed by her selection for the pathway to podium system developed by Netball New Zealand, one of three from the southern region, and she will play two games for the national development team in the Cook Islands this week.

Football Waitaki caters for over 480 children including teams from Twizel and Omarama. In competition, St Kevin’s U/18 finished second, Waitaki Boys’ U/16, second and Meadowbank U/14s finished fourth. Young players coming through the ranks and heading for senior ranks are Caleb Roberts, Riku Koyama and Tom Prestidge.

The highlight of the basketball season was the performance of the North Otago U/15 team which qualified for the nationals beating Otago in the process. Individually Harry Thorp and Tom Crutchley from Waitaki Boys’ are in Las Vegas with the Mainland Eagles Academy team while Matt Brien of St Kevin’s made the National Secondary Schools A tournament team.

ENDS

AS I SEE IT (11 Dec)

udrs snicko

By Terry O’Neill.

West Indian quick ,Joel Garner, calls it a “gimmick”. Former umpire Dickie Bird believes it undermines the authority of the onfield umpire. Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal thinks that it exaggerates the ball deviation while the Indian Cricket Board suggests that it is not accurate.

They are referring to the UDRS or the Umpires Decision Review System which came under intense scrutiny after the antics of Nigel Llong in the Adelaide test between Australia and New Zealand a  fortnight ago when he allowed  Australian batsman Nathan Lyon to continue batting after being obviously caught behind.

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell believes that the captains referrals need modernising as well.

Instead of limiting the number of referrals and leaving them in the hands of the players, the use of referrals should be at the discretion of the umpires.

The ICC showed some teeth finally when ,after the game, it announced that Llong’s decision had been wrong. But too little too late for New Zealand.

The  UDRS was first tested in an India/Sri Lankla match in 2008 and was officially introduced on 24th November, 2009 at the Back Caps/Pakistan test at the University Oval in Dunedin.It was first used in an ODI in January 2011 on England’s tour of Australia. Initially its use was mandatory, but later optional if both teams agreed.

There are three components in the UDRS,Hawkeye, Eagle Eye and Virtual Eye.The Virtual Eye technology plots the trajectory of the bowled ball, that has been interrupted by  the batsman often by the pad and can determine whether the ball would have hit the wicket or not.

The Hot Spot is an infra- red imaging system that illustrates where the ball has been in contact with the bat or the pad. The Snickometer relies on directional microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits the bat or pad.It has a success rate of 90-95%.

A fielding team may use the system to dispute a “not out” decision. A batting team can dispute an “out” decision.On field umpires can ask the third umpire for certain close calls(run outs/stumpings), boundary calls and close catch calls.

Under the UDRS only incorrect decisions are reversed. The analysis of the third umpire is within established margins of error or if it is inconclusive the field umpires original decision stands.

When an lbw decision is evaluated and if the the replay demonstrates that the ball has made an impact more than 2.5 metres away from the wickets and travels less than 40 cm before hitting the batsman then any not out decision given by the field umpire stands.

The only time an lbw decision will be reversed in favour of the bowler is if the batsman is 2.5-3.5 metres  away from the wicket and the ball travels more than 40cm after pitching before hitting the batsman.Some part of the ball must be hitting the middle stump and the whole ball must be hitting the wickets below the bails. If not the call stands. Sounds easy?

AS I SEE IT (27 Nov)

 

WBHS NO v WI 1955

Unfortunately over the years soil erosion has seen the backfield cricket ground slowly disappear, with cricket at the school now being played on Milner Park and Don Field. (c) http://www.noca.co.nz

By Terry O’Neill.

Waitaki Boy’s High School’s back field was an early venue for North Otago representative cricket and groundsman, the late Stan Bremner, produced a playing surface renowned throughout New Zealand.

A 1924 North Otago adversary was the touring New South Wales side brimming with talent. It included players of the ilk of Arthur Mailey with his reputation from the 1921 Australian tour of England where he took 141 wickets, and against Gloucestershire, 10 for 66; and fine batsman Allan Kippax, who by the 1936 season, had scored 12,762 runs at an average of 50.

North Otago batting first made 216 with Percy Hargreaves (54) and Bill Uttley (48) the best of the batsmen while Mailey took six for 89. New South Wales with the bat replied with 493 for five for a first innings win; North Otago, in its second innings, made 111 for nine.Included in the North Otago side was a 17-year-old Waitakian Denis Blundell.

Nineteen twenty eight saw North Otago lined up against a full Australian side with players like Kippax, Bill Ponsford and Ron Oxenham. North Otago batting first made 118 and Australia replied with 448 with Oxenham (169) and Kippax (76). At stumps on the final day North Otago was 268 for six with Carl Zimmerman on 117 not out (including five sixes and fifteen fours), and he brought up his century against Australia in only 46 minutes. Zimmerman also played for Otago.

The 1956 North Otago team faced the touring West Indies with players like Garfield Sobers, John Goddard, Alf Valentine and Bruce Pairiaudeau. North Otago made 108 in its first innings with best batsmen Dave Malloch (36), John Reid (28) and Harold Balk (24) while Tom Dewdney took seven for 35. West Indies replied with 282 scored in 162 minutes with Ron Hannam, the pick of local bowlers, taking four for 57 including the wickets of Pairiaudeau, Anthony Atkins, “Collie” Smith and Sobers as well as running out one of the other batsmen. The West Indies team had nine test players, and in this series New Zealand registered its first win in a test match .West Indies obviously was softened up by North Otago!

In 1968 the touring Fijian side played North Otago. Fiji batting first made 311 with Tony Cartwright taking four for 32. North Otago in reply made 261 for nine declared with Brian Papps unbeaten on 136. Harry Apted led the way in Fiji’s second innings of 190 for seven with 96 not out, Russell Payne taking four for 67. North Otago in its second innings made 174 for five. Keith Murray top-scored with 38. One of the highlights of North Otago’s innings was Papps and Bob Mason scoring 68 runs in the 15 minutes before lunch.

ENDS

AS I SEE IT (20 NOV)

NOCA nov 15

By Terry O’Neill.

North Otago’s first Hawke Cup qualifying game is against Otago Country in Alexandra next weekend after winning warmup matches against Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury on the home ground.

We proudly claim All Blacks Ian Hurst, Phil Gard and Ian (Spooky) Smith, yet over more than a century many North Otago cricketers represented Otago and New Zealand.

In 1886/87 Arthur Fisher (one of a long line-up of Waitakians), in his first year participated in the initial interschool match. This multi-talented sportsman was not only in the Waitaki 1st X1, but was also 1887 Athletic Champion, the 1903 Otago Golf Champion, in 1904 he won New Zealand Golf Open. Fisher played five matches for New Zealand cricket and was in the first New Zealand representative side to tour overseas, to Australia in 1899. His Otago first class bowling record, taking nine for 50 against Queensland in 1897, still stands.

In the 1950s New Zealand cricket captain John Reid came to Oamaru as an oil company representative and joined the Oamaru club. Besides bringing considerable prestige and encouragement to North Otago’s cricketing fraternity, Reid was a major influence in securing the 1956 match for North Otago against the touring West Indies.

New Zealand representative Zinzan Harris (1955/65) while in the Waitaki First X1 played once for North Otago, and his cricketing sons Chris (Canterbury, New Zealand) and Ben (Waitaki First XI, Canterbury, Otago).

Let’s digress. Zinzan: distinctive surname of immigrants to New Zealand from England, implying a link to the Brooke family. All Black Zinzan Brooke, originally Murray Zinzan Brooke, changed his name to Zinzan Valentine Brooke.

Christchurch’s loss was North Otago’s significant gain in David Sewell who graduated through age groups and Waitaki First XI to play for North Otago 1994 – 2015. After selection for Otago 1995-96, he toured Zimbabwe with the 1997 New Zealand side after a successful under 19 tournament. David retired from first class cricket after playing 67 matches and taking 218 wickets.

Other notables to represent North Otago (NO dates played in brackets): Dennis Blundell (1923-24) later Governor-General of New Zealand, Mike Hesson (1999) currently coach of the Black Caps, Fred Jones (1902/33) – generally one of the finest at the code. Also for Otago: Carl Zimmerman (1921-37), Arthur Berry (1948-70), Merv Sandri (1949-75), Ivan Geddes (1949-75), Tony Cartwright (1959-76), Norm McKenzie (1962-90), Bob Wilson (1968-87), Warren McSkimming (1997) and Craig Smith (2001-09). And from the 1874 records, L E Reade and a Mr Lynch.

A special mention of current North Otago player/selector Duncan Drew(1994-2015) who jousted with Brendan McCullum for the Otago wicket keeping berth.

And from the St Kevin’s First XI of the 1990s, Paula Flannery advanced with flair to play for women’s Otago, Canterbury, one test and 17 one day internationals over a decade, and played in the triumphant team for 2000 World Cup to achieve the White Ferns’s first title.

ENDS

AS I SEE IT (13 Nov) wc 457

david-warner_1oqrg97okuech1sm3bl46rzozu
By Terry O’Neill.

Australian opening batsman David Warner joined illustrious pair, Rick Ponting (Australia) and Sunil Gavaskar (India), by scoring back-to-back centuries in three tests after his performance against New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Not bad for this young cricketer who as a 13 year-old youngster was switched to bat right-handed by his coach. But only until Warner’s mother returned the youngster to his original left handed style because it wasn’t working. Results confirm her expert perception.

Warner, upon selection to play for Australia, became the first Australian in 132 years to play for a national cricket team, of any form, without experience in first class cricket. And this Paddington boy never looked back. He earned his first test century against the Black Caps in Hobart though it wasn’t enough to arrest the Black Caps win. On August 2 again against New Zealand, in Warner’s unbeaten 123 in the Australian innings of 233 he became the sixth person to carry his bat through the fourth innings of a test match.

Warner’s batting always seems aggressive. And in 2012 his 69 ball century against India in Perth equalled West Indian Shavnarine Chanderpaul’s record for the fourth fastest test century of all times in terms of balls faced. Warner’s two centuries against the Black Caps lifted his test average to 50, on a par with Matthew Hayden (50.73), and better than the career marks of Justin Langer (48.22), Bill Lawry(42.83), Mark Taylor(43.49) and Michael Slater(42.83), all Australians. His 3900 test runs bring him close to becoming the sixth Australian opener to join the elite 4000 run club. Warner has 14 test centuries more than the combined total fellow Australians David Boon(8) and Geoff Marsh(4) managed in the “baggy green”.

Warner’s earlier batting career may be impetuous, but of late, the “molly digger” the term for a left-hander in Australia, illustrates increased discipline and control and has given away a shot which was described as a “halfie’, a half pull and a half a leg side push shot, which too often brought about his downfall.

And what other record challenges does this aggressive Australian opener face? Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq holds one with the fastest test half century from just 21 balls, and West Indies batsman Viv Richards for the fastest test century from just 56 balls.

Many Black Caps supporters worried early in the first test about an innings plus defeat but Steve Smith took that out of the equation. New Zealand’s biggest ever defeat was at the hands of Pakistan when it lost by an innings and 324 runs in 2002. Pakistan made 643 and the Black Caps replied with 73 and 246 in Lahore which places the Kiwis fifth on the greatest loss margins.

ENDS