Triple century a record breaker
Dave Meiring wouldn't have gone on to score his triple century in club cricket on Saturday had his Marist team-mates not backed him.
But the majority were keen for the skipper to push on and after batting for 90 overs, he had reached one of the rarities in cricket anywhere - 300 not out.
Then he declared Marist's first innings closed at a mammoth 512 for four against a beleaguered United at Manawaroa Park.
It is understood to be the highest individual score in a Manawatu club match, and cricket in the province stretches back to the 1890s.
For the record, the former Central Districts A captain hit 44 fours and three sixes, one of which brought up his 300, and he scored at the rate of 3.3 runs an over.
"I didn't think about the 300 until I got close," he said.
"We were going to declare at drinks when I was on 268.
"I asked the guys and they were keen for me to carry on."
Ironically, United won the toss and invited Marist to bat on a pitch which played a lot better than it looked.
Batting on a lightning fast outfield helped and the triple ton is unlikely to be surpassed in Manawatu cricket, not in a two-day match because teams usually declare their first innings closed.
"It was a one-off," conceded Meiring. "I don't know how many times you get to score 300."
Almost never. Word soon spread that former New Zealand batsman Robert Anderson had scored a triple for Old Boys in 1978, but that was in fact a double century.
Meiring has one of those to his name, a representative record 219 not out for Manawatu against Horowhenua-Kapiti in less than four hours in 2009.
But his highest club score for Marist has been about 130 and he has had such a run drought this summer he was averaging only 19 for Marist - until Saturday.
He said he had scored more enjoyable 100s.
"At the start it was nothing flash. I started off quickly, settled down after lunch and picked up towards the end."
He wanted to get his 100 before lunch, after 2 hours of batting. Meiring's opening partner Roald Badenhorst, who scored 102, got to 50 first, but when Meiring brought up his century, Badenhorst was on 58.
The pair put on an astonishing 271 for the first wicket.
United eventually brought on their spinners to rest their flagging pace bowlers.
The most experienced player on the field was former Manawatu opening batsman, Jason McGregor. While he and his United team-mates wondered when they would get a turn to bat, McGregor said Meiring batted well.
"He just kept going. Anyone who can bat that long has very good powers of concentration.
"It is the first time I have seen a triple century and probably the last. They were very good batting conditions and we had a pretty settled bowling lineup."
McGregor said Meiring didn't waver. His only scare was when a french cut sent the ball close to the stumps.