Sri Lanka in New Zealand, 2005-06 January 4, 2006

Cairns edging close to unique double

Cricinfo staff

Chris Cairns is set to surpass a significant milestone in his illustrious career © Getty Images
Chris Cairns requires just 80 runs to complete the unique double of 5000 one-day runs and 200 one-day wickets, and he has an ample opportunity to do so as the third one-day match against Sri Lanka begins at Wellington on Friday.

Only Sanath Jayasuriya and Jacques Kallis have recorded this feat, and Cairns has two opportunities remaining in the series to join them. He picked up his 200th ODI wicket when he dismissed Tillakaratne Dilshan in yesterday's encounter at Jade Stadium in Christchurch, becoming only the second New Zealand cricketer to do so after Chris Harris.

"We don't have many guys that have got 300 hundred odd wickets in our game, so 200 is a pretty good haul," Cairns said to the New Zealand Herald yesterday. "Even if you've been around the game for a long time you still need the confidence. Jacob (Oram) and I have a really important role when Kyle (Mills) and Shane (Bond) have been bowling particularly well and it's important that we back them up, but we haven't quite nailed it yet."

New Zealand have already won the series owing to their sole victory before the Boxing Day tsunami aborted the 2004 tour, but the remaining two matches give Cairns an ideal opportunity to knock the target off before the team's month-long hiatus ahead of the tour to West Indies starting in late February.

"I've never been one for setting milestones as such. I've been somebody who enjoys them when they come along rather than seeking them," Cairns said. "It's often when you sit down and reflect that you feel pretty chuffed with what you've down, so it's nice to reach it. To get a further 80 odd runs to tie it in would be nice, but that's a by-product of what I do."