Jacob Oram's 101 secured a draw for New Zealand on the fifth and final day of the first Test against England at Lord's on Monday.
Oram's fifth Test hundred, and first against England, was the centerpiece of New Zealand's second innings 269 for six — 227 ahead of the English total.
When Oram came to the crease, after wicket-keeper and leading batsman Brendon McCullum had retired hurt on 11, New Zealand were only 78 runs ahead at 120 for four. But by the time he was out, New Zealand had made the game ahead of the start of the second Test of this three-match series at Old Trafford on Friday.
“That was the moment when we created an opportunity and the chance was there to go on and win the game,” England captain Michael Vaughan told Sky Sports as he reflected on McCullum’s injury.
“But full credit to Jacob Oram. It proves it is going to be a tough series.
“We go to Manchester and hope the weather is going to be better there. If we just improve that little bit more, the game should be a good one,” he said.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, man-of-the-match for his first innings haul of five for 69, on a pitch which gave little assistance to his left-arm spin, added: “We’ve got a team that believes.”
“We’re young but we’ve still got a good side,” said the 29-year-old. “Jacob took us from a little bit of a precarious situation. It was nice to see him play his normal game, to get a hundred in difficult conditions was fantastic.”
Oram cut the first delivery with the new ball, from Ryan Sidebottom, for four to go to 93, drove the left-arm quick down the ground to reach 97 and reached his hundred with a forcing shot through the offside against the same bowler.
But one ball after completing a 120-ball hundred with two sixes and 15 fours, which got him onto the Lord’s honors board, he was bowled having dominated a stand of 132 with Daniel Flynn in which the Test debutant made just 22.
There was still time for McCullum, who made a run-a-ball 97 in the first innings, to resume before he was caught behind for 24.
Flynn finished on 29 not out with Vettori unbeaten on nought.
New Zealand resumed after lunch on 113 for three, just 71 runs ahead.