Tom Latham hit the sixth highest individual score for New Zealand in the first Test against Sri Lanka. (Image credit: Twitter)
Tom Latham, the New Zealand opener, smashed 264 against Sri Lanka in the Wellington Test to put Kane Williamson’s side in a solid position. However, during the course of his innings, Latham created history as he became only the second New Zealand player in history to carry the bat through the innings. The phrase "carrying the bat" refers to a situation in which an opening batsman remains not out at the end of an innings where all the 10 wickets have fallen. Latham’s 264 included 21 fours and one six and it helped New Zealand take a massive 296-run lead after Tim Southee’s 6/68 bowled Sri Lanka out for 282 on the opening day. Latham became the second New Zealand player after Glenn Turner to achieve this feat.
Turner became the first New Zealand player to carry his bat when he was unbeaten on 43 against England in Lord’s in 1969. Turner was the last man standing as New Zealand was bowled out for 131 to lose the Test by 230 runs. The New Zealand player became only the third player after Australia’s Bill Woodfull, Bill Lawry and England’s Len Hutton to achieve the feat twice when he carried his bat during his knock of 223 against West Indies in 1972 at Sabina Park, Kingston.
Latham became the seventh player to carry his bat while scoring a double century. Bill Brown of Australia was the first one to achieve this feat when he hit 206* against England at Lord’s in 1938. The others to have carried their bat while scoring a double century are Hutton, Turner, Marvan Atapattu, Virender Sehwag and Alastair Cook. Latham’s score of 264 though is the highest by an individual batsman while carrying his bat through the innings.
The left-hander, son of former New Zealand allrounder Rod Latham, notched up the sixth-highest individual score for New Zealand in Tests. Brendon McCullum is the only triple centurion for the country, having made 302 against India in Wellington in 2014. Martin Crowe’s 299 against Sri Lanka in 1991 is the next highest followed by Ross Taylor’s 290 against Australia in Perth in 2015. Stephen Fleming’s 274* in 2003 and Bryan Young’s 267* in 1997 all came back against Sri Lanka.