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A first XI of Chris Martin career highlights
July 4, 2013
Sidharth Monga : Our Tom
Features : 'I'm going to enjoy watching the young guys have a crack'
Features : Superb v South Africa, rubbish v Australia
Andrew Alderson : The Phantom walks away
News : Chris Martin retires from all forms
Players/Officials: Chris Cairns | Sir Richard Hadlee | Kyle Jarvis | Gary Kirsten | Chris Martin | Jacques Rudolph | Daniel Vettori
Teams: New Zealand
1 First wicket: Gary Kirsten
Martin had a tough debut as a 26-year-old against a powerful South Africa in Bloemfontein, in November 2000. South Africa eased to 97 for 1 with Kirsten and Jacques Kallis in control. Then Nathan Astle pouched a catch for the scorebook entry "Kirsten c Astle b Martin 31". Not the worst first wicket.
2 Man of the Match to beat South Africa, Auckland, 2004
Martin took 11 for 180 - the ninth-best match figures by a New Zealander and the best against South Africa. Underlining its significance: six of the eight spots above him were occupied by Sir Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori.
Having Martin bound in off a long run and swing the ball away from the trio of left-handers in the South African top six proved a great strategy. This led to New Zealand's first Test win at home in 13 attempts against South Africa, despite a 177-run opening partnership to start the match between Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs.
3 Stunning an Indian crowd into silence
In the first Test of the 2010 series, in Ahmedabad, Martin dulled the decibel-levels by reducing the hosts to 15 for 5 within the first 11 overs of their second innings after they started with a 28-run lead.
Martin had 4 for 10 from 5.1 overs, yet New Zealand could not fully capitalise despite the dismissals of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina. The match was drawn when Harbhajan Singh made a ton. Martin finished with 5 for 63.
4 Smacking 12 not out against Bangladesh
Martin strode to the wicket amid the usual cheers in Dunedin in January 2008 and promptly blasted two boundaries. Well, sort of. He eased the first down the ground after leaning into an over-pitched delivery outside off. The second he nursed over the leg stump with an inside edge to beat an outstretched wicketkeeper. The crowd went ballistic. It was the only time Martin passed double figures.
5 Passing Chris Cairns' 218 wicket mark
This took Martin to third on New Zealand's Test wicket-taking list, behind Hadlee and Vettori. Appropriately the victim was Graeme Smith, the player Martin dismissed the most in Tests (eight times). He tempted Smith to drive by pitching the ball up outside off. Smith spooned to cover.
6 Getting to a century in his 60th Test Such is cricket's obsession with statistical minutiae, the prospect of Martin reaching 100 Test runs was a talking point ahead of the first Test against Pakistan in Hamilton in January 2011. Sure enough, after three balls in the first innings he had them. He struck a full toss through the covers (the field was closely packed) and ran the three runs required. Cue: a standing ovation. Martin finished unbeaten on 7.
7 The Learn-to-Bat-Like-Chris Martin video
Having the grace to film this spoof with Pulp Sport underlined Martin's self-deprecating humour. It showed a montage of his dreadful dismissals and included techniques to emulate his "strokemaking", like switching hands on the grip and tying a batsman's shoelaces together to assist footwork. The video finishes with him getting bowled followed by a straight-faced Martin saying: "It's out now." Not every New Zealand cricketer would be willing to poke fun at themselves to that extent.
8 Dismissing Jacques Rudolph
Martin listed this as his favourite wicket. Rudolph had scored 247 runs without being dismissed across two Tests but had no answer to his eighth ball in the South African second innings at the Basin Reserve in 2004. Martin enticed the left-hander to play down the wrong line. The ball moved away slightly and took out Rudolph¹s off stump.
9 Taking 6 for 54 to help beat Sri Lanka in 2005
Martin named this one of his best team contributions. His six first-innings wickets came from the Sri Lankan top seven batsmen and helped dismiss them for 211 in Wellington. New Zealand declared at 522 for 9 and routed the visitors for 273 in the second innings to win by an innings and 38 runs.
10 Beating England by 189 runs to win the first Test in Hamilton, 2008
Martin rated this as his favourite Test. New Zealand dismissed England for 110 in 55 overs on the final day. He took 3 for 33 in the second innings, but more importantly, the New Zealand attack bowled in useful partnerships and the fielders backed them up.
11 The 200th wicket
It took until the 118th over of the Zimbabwe first innings in the Bulawayo Test to shake off 199 wickets. A short-of-a-length ball saw Kyle Jarvis cut too close to his body and Ross Taylor pouched the catch. An unassuming Martin grin completed proceedings.
Andrew Alderson is cricket writer at New Zealand's Herald on SundayFeeds: Andrew Alderson
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