Sideline Sid recalls cricket history

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian

While we all look with awe when world sporting records are beaten and significant international marks overcome, they almost certainly will be broken one day in the future.

The magical mark in athletics was the mile in less than four minutes. When Roger Bannister smashed through the four-minute barrier in 1954 to record 3.59.4 the world gasped at this remarkable time.

Six decades later, the record now belongs to Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj at 3.43.13 minutes.

Along the way to the current mile record, two Kiwis played their part in taking the mark to where it sits today. Peter Snell and John Walker both held the mile record in their prime and gathered further glory with Olympic Gold.

When Peter Snell set a new world time at Cook Gardens in Wanganui in 1962, a group of New Zealand sports fans, received a rare gift of being trackside when a glamour world record tumbled.

Sideline Sid had his own piece of being at a match-winning mark, when the Black Caps chased down their then highest one day international score at Seddon Park in Hamilton on February 20, 2007.

It was all brought back to this grey haired sports nut, when the ODI mark was broken against India last week, coincidently also at Seddon Park.

There have been few more dramatic Black Cap comebacks to victory, than the 2007 ODI series against the enemy from across the ditch. Australia batted first and posted a remarkable 346 for the loss of five wickets.

Australia's master blaster Mathew Hayden, took absolute control of his teams innings smashing 181, including eleven 4's and ten big heaves over the boundary fence. While the New Zealand side were two up in the three game series, few gave the Kiwi side much hope of chasing down the mammoth target.

The Black Caps were in an absolute desperate situation, losing their vaunted top order of Lou Vincent, captain Stephen Fleming, Ross Taylor and Scott Styris with just 44 runs on the board. Tall-timber Peter Fulton, turned defence into attack belting 51 off 40 balls before being caught in the field.

Craig McMillan arrived at the crease and immediately took control of the Black Caps reply, blasting 117 of 96 balls. When McMillan was removed, Brendan McCullum took up the challenge to steer his side to victory. James Franklin and Daryll Tuffy coming and going’s added just ten runs, before New Zealand number ten Mark Gillespie arrived in the middle to join McCullum.

The Black Caps were still well behind the eight ball needing 44 runs for victory, with just Jeetan Patel in the wings. Gillespie played the innings of his life with few orthodox cricket shots in his 28 off 15 balls. His three blows over the boundary ropes received huge applause from the home crowd, who were on the edge of their seats.

After the dismissal of Gillespie, it was left to Brendan McCullum to bring New Zealand home with just three balls to spare, in what had earlier looked an impossible victory.


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