Anderson delivers a moment to savour

18:05, Jan 03 2014

At 3pm on New Years Day I was frustrated and cold and waiting for word from an official that the New Zealand-West Indies one-day international in Queenstown had been canned.

At that stage it was a poor start to the new year.

In a matter of a couple of hours however I had gone from less than excited about my start to 2014, to notching up probably the highlight of my nine years reporting on sport.

I have been lucky to cover some great sporting success stories during my time with The Southland Times but they were all topped in Queenstown on the first day of 2014.

To be brutally honest I had penned the obituary to this game at 3pm. I had explained how for the third straight time an ODI in Queenstown had been ruined by rain and all that needed to be added were some comments from the frustrated players and the send button would be hit.

We had been told that for a game to be fitted in it needed to start by 4.15pm and before that the ground staff would need an hour from when the rain stopped to get the pitch ready.


The fact it was still raining at 3pm resulted in pretty much everyone at the ground giving up hope of play.
Then just before that 3.15pm mark the rain halted.

The ground staff quickly sprung into action and remarkably play got underway at 4.10pm, which stunned many people at the ground including the players.

However, the fact the match went ahead wasn't the most astonishing miracle to occur on that famous day at the Queenstown Events Centre.

People often talk about where they were when Nathan Astle produced arguably New Zealand cricket's greatest ever innings with his 222 against England during the 2001/02 season - the all-time fastest double century in test cricket.

At Queenstown on New Years Day Corey Anderson produced another one of those moments in New Zealand cricketing history where people will recall where they were that day.

Anderson struck a world record for the fastest century in any form of cricket from just 36 balls.

Watching his remarkable 51-minute display of power-hitting will be something I - and I'm sure most others at the ground or watching on television - will recount many times over in the years to come.

The "glass half full" brigade will point to the poor West Indies bowling, but it's not the first time we've seen poor bowling in international cricket but it is the first time ever a player has reached 100 in 36 balls or less.

Everything happened so quickly. One minute the ground was empty and plans were being made for an early after-match drink, the next we were scurrying through the record books trying to fathom just what Anderson and his partner in crime Jesse Ryder had done.

Only about 2500 people had either stayed at the ground or returned when they heard play was actually going to get under way afterall.

For me they were the people I was most happy for, those people deserved every bit of the reward they got from watching one of New Zealand cricket's finest moments.

They were few in number but full of voice and when Anderson hit West Indies' Nikita Miller for six to grab the world record most rose to their feet in appreciation.

The Southland Times