Wellington Firebirds debut: v Central Stags 2002/03 (first-class)
Best bat: 193 v Otago Volts, Wellington 09/10 (first-class)
Top order batsman Neal Parlane saved his best to the end last year when he lit up the Basin Reserve with an authoritative Plunket Shield innings of 93 against the Otago Volts. This knock capped another strong season for the former Northern Districts player.
In scoring 763 season first-class runs, he was the third most prolific Firebirds batsman in 2009/10 behind Luke Woodcock and Cameron Merchant. He scored two centuries and two 50s and averaged over 40. In a disappointing HRV Cup Twenty20 competition for the Firebirds, Parlane was the team’s leading run-scorer with 315 runs at the top of the order including a powerful 85 against the Auckland Aces.
Previously, Parlane’s 2008/09 season had been fruitful despite sustaining an ankle injury.
Ironically he injured his ankle during his innings of 105 in the one-day competition against the Knights - his maiden one-day century. This kept him out of the domesticTwenty20 showcase, but his four first-class half centuries in 10 innings and safe pair of hands in holding 15 catches made him a valuable member of the four-day team.
In the 2007/08 season Parlane’s consistency and maturity at the crease translated into a rich vein of form and he scored a bucket load of runs right throughout the summer. His team leading 809 runs for the 2007/08 first-class season included three centuries and an average of 57.78 and a highest score of 165.
He has now scored a total of 4,122 first class runs for Wellington at an average of 40.01 over 70 matches.