Class act Peter Fulton can take deserved bow

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 26/03/2013
Peter Fulton
ALL CLASS: Peter Fulton on his way to reaching his second century on day four.

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Forget the orthodox method of pushing a short single to raise back-to-back test centuries.

Peter Fulton had England paceman Stuart Broad lined up, and a booming six over Eden Park's northern sightscreen to join a select group of New Zealand batsmen was always on.

"I thought if he pitches it up I'm going to try and hit it back over his head," Fulton said.

"I just wanted to get there and make sure we kept being aggressive. I didn't want to slow down too much looking for a personal milestone."

There was certainly nothing pedestrian about Fulton's batsmanship yesterday as he roared from 99 into the record books alongside Glenn Turner, Geoff Howarth and Andrew Jones as dual centurions in the same test.

He hit five sixes in all, backing up his maiden ton on day one with 110 as New Zealand pushed for a declaration.

Friday's milestone was a relief, yesterday was time to have some fun as his second 50 took just 42 balls and he allowed himself a jubilant fist pump.

"The situation of the game helped. It's a bit tougher to play like that on day one - you hit one straight up in the air and you get castigated for it - but it was nice to show a few people, who don't watch a lot of domestic cricket, that I can bat like that and can adapt to the situation."

It continued 34-year-old Fulton's golden summer, which began with doubts over whether he would play international cricket again, and reaped him 1249 first-class runs, second only to Martin Crowe's 1676 in 1986-87. A tour of England and an extended stay in the test side now beckon.

"Hopefully it proves if you keep sticking at it and you don't lose faith in yourself then good things can happen."

After the first two tests he binned the needless wafts outside off stump and played to his leg-side strengths when the bowlers got too straight. He looked a different batsman yesterday, in complete control against England's weary attack.

And the dual century feat even piqued the interest of Prime Minister John Key, who tweeted: "Great work Peter Fulton."

Fulton said with a wry grin that he wasn't a Twitter user but gladly accepted the praise from on high.

"I hadn't heard that. I guess that's one to cross off the list."

AT A GLANCE

Centuries in both innings of a test for New Zealand: Glenn Turner 101 and 110no v Australia at Christchurch, 1974 Geoff Howarth 122 and 102 v England at Auckland, 1978 Andrew Jones 122 and 100no v Sri Lanka at Hamilton, 1991 Peter Fulton 136 and 110 v England at Auckland, 2013 Most runs in a New Zealand first-class season: 1676: Martin Crowe (1986-87) 1249: Peter Fulton (2012-13) 1244: Glenn Turner (1975-76) 1228: Graeme Hick (1988-89) 1092: Matthew Bell (2000-01) 1077: Hamish Rutherford (2012-13)

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