Cricket - Fulton joins elite company, would give it all back to win Test

Peter Fulton joined an elite group of New Zealand cricketers by scoring a century in both innings of a Test match.

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Cricket - Fulton joins elite company, would give it all back to win Test
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New Zealand's Peter Fulton scores his second century against England in Auckland (AFP)

The short-arm punch of the bat was followed with an understated fist pump, a wander down the pitch to shake hands with captain Brendon McCullum and another matter-of-fact waving of the bat to the crowd.

Remarkably, the 34-year-old Fulton had just joined an elite group of New Zealand cricketers by scoring a century in both innings of a Test match.

He was just the fourth New Zealander to achieve the feat, following Glenn Turner, Geoff Howarth and Andrew Jones.

The strange thing for Fulton was that he scored his second century three days after he had made his maiden ton and the tall righthander said the second felt more special than the first given the game situation.

"To get one was more a bit of relief to finally tick that off," Fulton told reporters on Monday. "Whenever you get a hundred you tell yourself you have to back it up.

"It very seldom works out like that as a batter so it was nice to do the job again for the team."

Fulton's innings on Monday was in direct contrast to his patient innings on the first day of the series-deciding match last Friday.

It was also vastly different to how he dropped anchor late on Sunday when England had reduced the hosts to eight for three in their second innings and with a sniff of running through New Zealand's order.

Late on Sunday Fulton defended, let balls go and waited till stumps. On Monday he attacked, and with gusto.

He was positive from the beginning of play and truly signalled his intentions when he dispatched left-arm spinner Monty Panesar for two fours and a six into the northern stand to move from 46 to 60 in the space of four balls.

Combining with McCullum the pair quickly accelerated New Zealand's innings to the point where they were more than 400 runs ahead by lunch and Fulton was 91 not out.

When the pair returned he decided not to hang around battling the 'nervous nineties' as his side needed more runs, in quick-time, to declare before the tea break.

Fulton quickly moved to 99 then when Broad over-pitched a delivery, he put one foot down the wicket and belted the ball high over the sightscreen into the stand.

"The first innings was a bit nervy and I'd decided when we came out after lunch that I'd just play the same way as I had before, regardless of what score I was on," he said.

"It made for slightly less of a nerve-racking time for myself anyway.

"I thought if he pitches it up I'm going to try and hit it back over his head.

"It's just one of those things, I just wanted to get there and make sure we kept being aggressive.

"I didn't want to slow down too much looking for a personal milestone."

For someone who was dropped from the team for four years before his recall after some blistering domestic form, personal milestones should mean something though Fulton said he would give it all back should New Zealand wrap up victory on Tuesday.

"To get this close to getting a win, if we don't finish the job off now then I think it'll be pretty tough to swallow.

"I'd gladly give back the hundreds to get a win. We haven't had many test wins over England let alone series wins.

"We are hugely delighted with how the day has finished but there are still six more wickets to get and the English aren't just going to hand them over to us."

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