Tim Southee brought 300 demo wickets in his thirteenth season of Black Caps. Photo / Photosport
When Ross Taylor grabbed the Masood Bashar Tim Soth on his first slip of the day, his great teammate Neil Wagner ran from a distance to give him a bear hug.
“The Wags were actually ahead of everyone else [number 300] He was the first one who came in and hugged me so much. I was like, “What’s going on here, buddy?” “
A classic case of an early celebration, but Southee and his ecstatic teammates didn’t have to wait any longer before he took over 300 and joined an exclusive club of New Zealand legends.
Sohail’s keeper was his dear victim, he was caught in a short cover by Mitchell Santner for nine, leaving Pakistan reeling 37-3.
“It’s private,” he said. “Obviously not a lot of people have been able to do that, and the two have two of the greatest cricketers we’ve ever had. It’s nice to be in this category with these guys.
It sits behind Sir Richard Hadley (431) and Daniel Vettori Onzm (362) on the New Zealand all-time list.
“As a kid, all I wanted to do was play New Zealand cricket and sit here after a reasonable amount of time doing it and accomplishing two things on the way is an amazing feeling.”
The kid from Maungakaramea who took to the arena in 2008 with a goofy smile, respectable paddle and tug of war to a cow’s corner, has matured into one of the world’s best swing bowlers.
He started the second rounds of Pakistan on 298 wickets, and quickly removed Masoud for a duck, which Ross Taylor caught on the first slip. This came after Trent Bolt, a Southee wing pilot for the better part of his career, (no doubt he was calling Southee his wingman), and took a shot at his second ball.
While the warm start and the celebration of the round number was cute – mom, dad, Murray, Joan, Praia’s wife and two daughters were there to share the moment – Soth realized the job ahead.
“We know it will be a tough game tomorrow but that is the beauty of testing cricket; the beauty of showing up on Day 5 and having a chance to win a Test match for your country.
We give Kyle [Jamieson] Little of the stick. It’s his fifth first day in a Test match. The cricket test is difficult, it is difficult and when you come on the fifth day with all three results, it feels great. “
It may be even more difficult with fighting Wagner through two broken fingers. This may have been a Sothian day, but he shied away from several ideas for “Wags”.
“That sums up Neil as a man. The way he continues and gets the job done summarizes him as a man. He broke his hand against Australia and continued so. He has what I’m going to worry about after the testing mindset.”
“I hope he gets another big push tomorrow.”
Southee’s exploits have sometimes not been appreciated outside of the Black Caps environment, but some of this can be attributed to the misconception that he was a multiplayer after smashing a ridiculous 77 people who had yet to come out against England for the first time, including a nine-year run. Never climb to those heights again with a bat.
There shouldn’t be such questions about bowling.
Southee’s stock in the trade is a laggard, especially with the new ball, although he’s also known for his ability to play for long periods with the old ball as well.
Former captain Brendon McCollum once stunned New Zealand bureaucrats at cricket by suggesting Southee be his deputy captain because at that point he had a reputation as a party boy. When McCollum eventually took command, he relied heavily on Soth’s leadership, as Ken Williamson now does.
There is another thread of Southee’s arc that should never be forgotten: He is among the best bowlers. Athletically talented, he also has great hands in close-up shooting modes, which is a rare occurrence.
(Since this is a celebration tale, we’ll quickly mention the fact that he’s a poor reviewer of LBWs from his bowling game.)
Southee has indicated that he intends to play, hit and level allow, for many years now. He says the only thing he’s preserved from day one is “motivation and determination” to continue learning and improving.
Comparing him to Hadley is sacrilege, but don’t exclude him as he dips in 431.
“I like to play as long as possible. I like to do what we do … It is a really great honor to be able to play for New Zealand,” he said.
“There are high standards that come with representing New Zealand and as long as you stick to those standards, I think age is just a number. I have only turned 32, people might think I’m a little older than I was in the morning.”
“You look at the likes of James Anderson still being able to achieve what he has achieved at the age of 38. Ross Taylor (36) also, he seems to be getting better and better with age. As long as I maintain these standards. I would like to keep playing.”
It gets better with age, too. His last 100 wages came in 20 tests, and he is world-class.
Southee’s 300 wickets reached an average of 28.53 in 76 tests. Only 23 fast bowlers in the game’s history have undergone further testing. Climbing that list begins on the fifth day of this test.