September 17, 1924, Waitati, Otago
November 15, 1996, Dunedin, Otago, (aged 72y 60d)
Right hand bat
Watt was Bert Sutcliffe's regular opening partner for Otago, and quite a contrast they made. Sutcliffe was left-handed, world-class, and very entertaining; Les Watt was defensive-minded right-hander with limited shots. When they set a national first-wicket record, batting all day at Auckland on December 29, 1950, by the last over Sutcliffe had 258 and Watt 96. Trying to reach his hundred, Watt was caught from the last ball of the day. Their 373 together is still the best in New Zealand, though Glenn Turner and Terry Jarvis took the overall record with 387 in the Georgetown Test of 1971-72.
Twelfth man in New Zealand's two home Tests against England in 1950-51, Watt had his sole international against Len Hutton's team four years later, making only 0 and 2 in the inaugural Test on his home ground, Carisbrook (Dunedin), in March 1955. He continued with Otago until 1956, winning three Plunket Shield titles with them, and was recalled for a final season in 1962-63, aged 38. His 20-year career did not contain a century, but there were a lot of solid, conscientious innings for the province which, in his time, had the smallest population and often the thinnest batting resources. In all he made 2004 runs at 23.30. He died of cancer in Dunedin aged 72.
Wisden Almanack 1997
Batting & Fielding
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