Aaron Redmond's early season form dazzling
There's unlikely to be any gardening leave for in-form Otago batsman Aaron Redmond if he carries on his early season run harvest all summer.
Last season the former international was struggling so badly he got dropped three times, or, as he puts it, had "about three sabbaticals to work on the garden".
"I was so out of touch, but the garden looked good," he joked yesterday after his side beat Canterbury by eight wickets in the side's Plunket Shield opener at Rangiora.
Redmond has hired a gardener this year and he may need him as a century in each innings of the match and 256 runs in total is likely to cement his spot for a while at least. His 123 yesterday helped Otago chase down the 267 needed for victory.
Despite the Mainpower Oval pitch having sizable footmarks, it remained flat and Redmond was untroubled in his 186-ball stay.
He is one of eight batsmen to score 100 in each innings for Otago and joins southern cricketing royalty Glenn Turner and Bert Sutcliffe as multiple achievers of the feat.
He rattled off a series of reasons why the double was so special.
"After the lean trot last year, I really wanted to start this season well and I guess I've done that," the former Canterbury player said.
"Plus helping the team come away with the points is a big deal to me."
It was also Redmond's 100th first class match.
He said the only thing that's changed from last year was just being more relaxed and having a bit more fun with his cricket.
Even with a poor run last season, Redmond is yet another former Cantab to flourish since moving south.
In 33 matches for Canterbury, he scored 1207 runs at an average of 24.14. This week's was Redmond's 46th game for the Volts and he's now scored 3070 runs at an average of 41.49.
Redmond did have a bit of luck on his side. When on 99 in the first innings, he was given not out to a bat-pad appeal the Canterbury players were adamant was out and he was dropped by George Worker on 50 yesterday when Otago were 102-1.
Canterbury needed to knock the top off the Otago innings early if they were to have any chance of winning the match, but Redmond, Hamish Rutherford (26) then Michael Bracewell (88no) batted soundly.
Canterbury did well to set Otago so many. After trailing by 86 on the first innings then falling to 2-3 in the second, they did much better than they could have.
Todd Astle's second half century of the match helped their cause as the new Black Cap and debutant Ben McCord (47) added 108 for the ninth wicket. Despite turning the ball plenty, Astle was unable to do much damage, taking just one wicket, but his 78 with the bat, to go with his 95 in the first innings was still a strong return.
The other match is well balanced heading into today's final day.
Central Districts reached stumps at 223-6 with a lead of 266 runs but Wellington have a not so secret weapon - the in-form Jesse Ryder.
After CD scored 383-8 declared, Ryder's run a ball century helped Wellington through to 340 all out.
DID YOU KNOW?
Aaron Redmond's 256 run aggregate takes him into 10th on the all time Otago list of runs scored in a single match. He knocked off friend Craig Cumming and is now in esteemed company. The legendary Bert Sutcliffe features in the nine places ahead of Redmond . . . a whopping five times! 's 256 run aggregate takes him into 10th on the all time Otago list of runs scored in a single match. He knocked off friend Craig Cumming and is now in esteemed company. The legendary Bert Sutcliffe features in the nine places ahead of Redmond . . . a whopping five times!
- © Fairfax NZ News
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