Latham finally gets one over his dad

FATHER AND SON:  Tom Latham (left) bettered his father, Rod's, highest score for Canterbury at the weekend.
FATHER AND SON: Tom Latham (left) bettered his father, Rod's, highest score for Canterbury at the weekend.

Just last week Rod Latham proudly told son Tom he was a long way off getting near his highest first class score.

On Saturday Tom scored 241 not out against Wellington, passing Rod's 237 not out to record the third highest first-class score for Canterbury.

At a family dinner, Tom's brother Matt was joking that on the recent trip to Sri Lanka, Tom had scored 86 in a one-day international for New Zealand, passing Rod's best of 60.

Latham Sr laughed off the tease and reminded his sons of his 243-ball, unbeaten 237 against Northern Districts at Rotorua in 1991 - the then highest score for Canterbury.

Before this week's game, Latham Jr's highest first class score was 145. But he still has one more major milestone to achieve to match his father.

"I spoke to him last night and he said he'd be pretty happy if I knocked off a test century like he did," Latham Jr said.

A chance would be a fine thing; Latham is yet to play a test and last week was dumped from the ODI national side, before his 606-minute, 423-ball knock.

The selectors made room for the returning Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum by axing Latham who averaged 49.50 in the three-match series in Sri Lanka.

"There's nothing you can do about it, experienced guys came back and there was no room, I just have to keep putting the numbers on the board," Latham Jr said.

The competition for spots is fierce between the fringe New Zealand players. Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Daniel Flynn and James Franklin have all scored hundreds in the current round while Michael Papps and Aaron Redmond have also weighed in heavily in the Plunket Shield.

Latham was rapt to have scored his 241no, but yesterday was annoyed at himself for getting out for 11.

He was, however, pleased to have batted through a "pretty tough period against a tough Wellington attack" in the first session on Friday.

"It was doing a bit and they're a good lineup so it was good to stay in there. I got dropped on two [and bowled off a no-ball on 62] so it was nice to make them pay and do well for Canterbury.

"I'm enjoying opening again and I want to evolve my game so I can bat on wickets that have a bit in them. The more times I can get through that sort of situation like I did here, the better."

The Press