Cricket: Milestone marked in style

Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate got to celebrate his 100th first-class game in style with a century at the University Oval yesterday.

The 32-year-old all-rounder was on 88 at stumps on the first day of Otago's Plunket Shield match with Central Districts at the University Oval on Monday.

He reached the milestone with a quick single to mid-on but it was not without drama. He had to dive to make his ground and a direct hit may well have caught the batsman short of his crease.

Ten Doeschate stayed down in a crumbled heap for a few moments to catch his breath and gather himself after the narrow escape, then rose and acknowledged his team-mates' applause by raising his bat.

It might have been his 19th first-class hundred but Central did its very best to create extra pressure, bringing left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel on to bowl when he was on 99 and surrounding the batsmen with a few close-in fielders.

"Generally I don't get nervous,'' ten Doeschate said.

"But I was very keen to get the 100 in my debut for Otago. It was a little bit scratchy from 90 to 100 but I wouldn't say I was nervous. But I guess you don't always do the most sensible things on 99. But I think I judged the single all right.''

Ten Doeschate was eventually run out for 118 but his form bodes well for the rest of his stay in New Zealand. He signed with Otago to play in the HRV Cup and is unlikely to remain on after the twenty/20 tournament despite attempts by Otago coach Vaughn Johnson to convince him to extend his stay.

"VJ is trying to get cheeky and see what I'm doing at the end of January. But I don't think I'll be playing any more first-class cricket. I don't think too much first-class cricket is a good idea during the off-season.''