Michael Papps stood in for a day and a half before walking off with 316 not out to supply Wellington with the highest-ever individual score.
Papps combined with Luke Woodcock, who added 116, which seemed almost paltry by comparison, but their 432 total was still the record for a New Zealand opening stand.
Papp had approached with some trepidation. “I was just hoping to get off the mark and anything else was a bonus, to be honest,” Papps said at the end of the second day.”Our guys bowled really well yesterday, and certainly, there were periods where their guys got it right and it was difficult. It was kissing through, there was some good pace in it, particularly Lockie Ferguson, but it’s a good wicket.If you don’t get it right, it’s good for scoring.”
Papps and Woodcock established first class records for both Wellington and New Zealand in the four-day Plunket Shield match at Wellington’s Basin Reserve.
The 432 eclipsed the previous Wellington best of 346 set by Graeme Burnett and Ross Verry back in the 1991 – 1992 season.
Papps’ triple century was just the eighth ever recorded in New Zealand.
Add into the record the fact that Papps is over 38 years of age and those of us in the geriatric set have something extra about which to cheer. Papps is the seventh oldest to hit a triple century. The record for oldest triple belongs to WG Grace, who was just past 48 when he smashed his.
“I’m obviously pretty pleased, but pretty knackered now to be honest. It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Papps said.”You get into a bit of a rhythm when you’re batting with the same guy for a long time, and Woody and I know each other pretty well. We’ve batted together a lot over the past couple of years. It’s always good to keep feeding off each other and keep the momentum going.”
Papps has 32 first class centuries to his credit and this is his 20th season. His previous best was 206 not out.