KEN RUTHERFORD had fun giving it the gun here yesterday, and wiped out one of Brian Lara's records into the bargain.
A minor hamstring injury may have curtailed his innings at 115, but the major achievement was in registering the fastest century of the summer, one which led to New Zealand's first first-class victory of the tour.
Lara has been having it all his own way since arriving from the West Indies, and one of the landmarks came when he reached three figures off 72 balls against Somerset at Taunton last month.
At St Helen's, Rutherford took a ball less to reach 100 and the Kiwis won with four overs to spare.
Glamorgan, with an unbeaten 90 from Tony Cottey, had set up the chase by asking New Zealand to make 306 off 70 overs. Rutherford had said the previous evening that he would not be holding back and he certainly lived up to his promise. In 80 minutes' worth of the long handle, he hammered 68 in boundaries, four of them sixes.
Rutherford was the first of his countrymen to a triple century when making 317 off only 245 balls against Brian Close's XI four summers ago. The pity here was that he felt it better not to continue, limping off for tea having just scampered a two. In the event, though, there was no stopping New Zealand.
Following Stephen Fleming's 151 in the first innings, the voting for the man-of-the-match award was close. Rutherford gained the verdict 7-6 after suggestions that the award should be split were knocked on the head when it was pointed out that while the pounds 250 from Tetley could well be divided, the tankard reserved for the winner could not.
In any case, Rutherford's innings was nigh faultless and put pounds 2,000 in the kitty for success against a county. There could have been another century, too, had Bryan Young not holed out off Robin Croft for 95.
Young, who had helped raise 194 in the company of his captain, must have kicked himself. He was Croft's only victim, the spinner being despatched at a cost of 120 runs from his 26 overs in what was already an expensive season.
In contrast, Steve Watkin did tie the Kiwis down, opening with five successive maidens and even Rutherford struggled after Blair Pocock's early dismissal, taking a dozen balls to get off the mark and therefore in effect scoring his 100 off 59 deliveries. Finally, it was down to Shane Thomson, who made 50, and Mark Greatbatch to knock off the runs in an unbroken partnership of 77.Reuse content