November 28, 2001

Once past 20, Redmond wanted century

Rangiora has provided a match for milestones with two more players achieving significant personal bests in the State Championship game between Canterbury and Wellington.

Yesterday it was Wade Cornelius who took seven wickets in an innings for the best performance of his five-game career and today it was his Canterbury team-mate Aaron Redmond who achieved his maiden first-class century after six times previously having gone past 50.

And Wellington debut bowler Ash Turner picked up a five wicket bag when taking five for 66, including the scalp of Redmond, in Canterbury's second innings.

Redmond's performance was highly creditable as he shared a Canterbury sixth wicket stand against all teams of 209 runs with Chris Harris, and allowed Canterbury to set Wellington a target of 410 to win with a minimum of 127 overs.

Redmond, the son of former New Zealand opener Rodney Redmond who now coaches South Perth, is a graduate of the New Zealand Cricket Academy and last year toured England with New Zealand A. It was on that tour that he scored his previous highest score of 92 at Hove against Sussex.

Today's effort was an important statement by Redmond given the amount of pressure on among the Canterbury side for places. A squad of 13 has been named and after some disappointments last summer, Redmond was keen to make the most of his chances.

"It was a case of digging in and being solid. We wanted to grind Wellington into the ground," he said after finally being dismissed for 101 just after the tea break.

Batting with Harris had been a boost because he was always talking with Redmond and was the sort of batsman who enjoyed keeping everyone on their toes.

Getting his first century this year had always been a goal and to have it out of the way in the first game was a boost.

"I had goal I wanted to achieve and once I was over 50 I definitely wanted to be able to go on and make a century.

"I'll have to re-assess things now," he said of the goals he set for the year.

But today was always going to be a chance to reach the century once he got himself in.

"Once I got over 20 I was never going to let it go," he said.

And there will be a phone call home to Perth tonight, although he expects his father will already be aware of the news as he follows the cricket on the Internet through CricInfo.

"The first question he'll ask me is why I got out on 101," he said.

But once out he was already thinking about the job ahead for Canterbury of bowling Wellington out for less than the 410 target they face.

And with that sort of target there was more than a fair chance that leg-spinner Redmond's contribution to the game is not yet finished.