Skipper reaches century

BLACKCAPS captain Stephen Fleming will become the first New Zealander to play in 100 Test matches when he leads his team out to face South Africa at Centurion over the Easter weekend.

The 33-year-old joins an elite group of cricketers to have reached the milestone, which counts legends such as Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Viv Richards and Kapil Dev among it.

Fleming told The New Zealand Herald: “I'm enjoying it, that's the main thing.

"I'm enjoying it more than ever. I just think this side will be judged on their performances over the next twelve months and I'm pretty excited about our potential right now.

"If we can just keep this crew together, I'd love to ice the cake over the last three or four years of my career."

Fleming has hit eight centuries and 41 fifties in 168 innings at the top level. He has hit 6194 runs at an average of 39.2, with his highest score a memorable unbeaten 274 against Sri Lanka in Colombo three years ago.

But the captain is adamant his past achievements are the basis for future success.

He added: "I still think I've got a lot of good cricket ahead so I'm pretty excited to be reaching the mark at this stage, where I think I've still got some good years in front of me.

"There was a bit of talk from the boys at the awards dinner about the age gap, but when you look at what I do; I field at first slip and short cover and I bat. That's not going to cause a huge attrition rate, is it?

"I reckon my game's still expanding. I scored a run-a-ball hundred the other day without raising a sweat. It was good fun.

“I'm still learning things, and I put that down a bit to the experience in English county cricket, where you're encouraged to play the game and to not get too caught up in the potential consequences.

"One of the things I'm enjoying right now is the freedom of playing the game and scoring runs. For so long in my career it was a matter of getting through the new ball, and now it's a sort of reversal, where I'm trying to put pressure on the opposition."

 for a list of all Stephen Fleming’s Test matches.

 for Stephen Fleming’s player profile and full career statistics.

  • Stephen Fleming’s 100th Test match, against South Africa, starts at Centurion at 7.30pm NZT (9.30am local time).
  • Live scoring and reports on all three of the BLACKCAPS' Test matches in South Africa will be available on .

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