Winter Watch: Dual Tons Bring Success for Hants Pair
Nov 28 2011
Hampshire batsmen, Neil McKenzie and Simon Katich enjoyed successful weekends in South Africa and Australia respectively, both hitting centuries to lead their sides to victory.
First, in the early hours of Sunday morning UK-time, Katich enjoyed a huge knock of 125 (including 10 fours) to help his New South Wales team to a first-innings 441 and a lead of 291 over opponents Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield.
It was a remarkable innings from Kat, who had to balance the pressure of having to score relatively quickly (having lost most of day one to rain) with having to play himself in (having, personally, started the day on just three runs).
And though he didn’t get to bat again, he did enjoy yet more success with his bowling, taking two wickets – including that of Australia international and one-time Hampshire player, Marcus North – for just 46 runs (off 14 overs) as Western Australia finished on 365. That left Katich’s NSW team-mates to collect the 75 needed for victory in a firecracker finish, with less than a session to go.
Later the same day, there was more good news for Hants fans as their most consistent one-day batsman last summer, Neil McKenzie hit an unbeaten 108 (off 88 balls, including 14 fours and one six) against an attack that included South Africa and 2011 Somerset bowler, Roelof van der Merwe.
That took his Highveld Lions side to a huge total of 338-5 in their 50-over match against the Titans.
And when their opponents, who also named former Kent batsman, Martin van Jaarsveld and Yorkshire player Jacques Rudolph amongst their ranks could only make 196 off 30.2 overs, a crushing 142-run demolition was completed.
It was a good way to end the weekend for McKenzie who, on Friday, had missed out on the opportunity to bat against 2011 Hampshire team-mates Imran Tahir and Friedel de Wet due to yet more excellent top order hitting meaning he wasn’t required to bat.
In truth, neither Tahir (10-0-55-1) nor de Wet (9-0-41-0) enjoyed the best of matches either, ending with just one wicket between them. On the same evening, in Abu Dhabi, Hampshire’s 2012 T20 overseas player, Shahid Afridi made 22 and finished wicketless in Pakistan’s one-off T20 International against Sri Lanka.
Love Hampshire Cricket? Want to keep up to date on all the latest news - including exclusive interviews, footage and offers to everything Rose-Bowl related? Then sign up to “The Delivery” - the club's official monthly e-shot. Bringing you all the most up-to-date information direct from the source and featuring articles you won't see anywhere else from the Rose Bowl's own news team, it's everything even the most ardent of Royals' fans could possibly want. Click here to find out more about The Delivery and sign up now.
Words: Simon Vincent
Images: Getty Images