Week one — the countdown

During the ANZ International Series, we bring to you each week a countdown of our top five moments.

Top knocks of the week

5. Mitchell Santner boundary catch on day five
Named 'Magic Mitch' in the media, Mitchell Santner pulled off the most acrobatic move of the summer when he leapt to catch a ball heading for six and flicked it behind his back, before landing over the rope.

Some might call it a dropped catch. Those more reasonable — five runs saved.

4. Waimate beige brigade boys
The team loves the dedication from the New Zealand public to come support them at matches, even when it’s in some pretty fresh Dunedin conditions.

You can #backtheblackcaps in any colour you like, but these boys from Waimate deserve extra credit for their fantastic beige attire. Looking super lads.

3. McClenaghan bowls Aces to Georgie Pie Super Smash title
The second Mitchell on our list. The big difference between the Mondiale Auckland Aces and SBS Otago Volts in the Georgie Pie Super Smash Final this week was one over from Mitchell McClenaghan.

The Aces fast bowler took three top order wickets in four balls to lead his side to victory and the Twenty20 trophy.

2. New Zealand’s 50th Test victory and first of the summer
Their 122-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first ANZ Test in Dunedin sees the BLACKCAPS get their first tick in the win column this summer.

It also represented New Zealand’s 50th Test victory. Three more Tests left in the ANZ International Series this summer – what will we end up on?

1. The 100s – Dunedin Milestones
Tom Latham: Tom Latham scored his first Test century on home soil. Former New Zealand player and dad Rod was there to witness the special moment.
BJ Watling: 100 Test dismissals for BLACKCAPS wicketkeeper, BJ Watling, the fourth New Zealander to do so. Took nine catches in the match to boot.
Martin Guptill: Opener Martin Guptill well and truly answered any questions about his selection with a career-high knock of 156, bringing up 2000 Test runs in the process.
Brendon McCullum: The skipper hit the first and last ball for six in his second innings in Dunedin, bringing up a staggering 100 career Test sixes. That’s level with Australia’s Adam Gilchrist for the most ever — odds on to take the outright lead in the second Test?

Next in to bat…

5. A new BLACKCAP is about to emerge in Canterbury batsman Henry Nicholls
The ANZ ODI Series against Sri Lanka is just around the corner, and within that squad will be fresh-faced 24-year-old Canterbury batsman Henry Nicholls. Coach Mike Hesson described him as immensely talented and, after averaging 75.66 in last year’s one-day Ford Trophy competition, he’ll get his chance on the big stage. One to watch.

4. A round for the purists
A treat for the cricket nuffies amongst us, all six domestic teams will play one round of the four-day Plunket Shield, brought to you by Budget Rental, before Christmas. There are matches in Wellington, Auckland and Rangiora, so get along and watch the action for free.

3. Boxing Day at Hagley Oval
Leftovers and cricket should be the only two things on your agenda come Boxing Day, with the BLACKCAPS set to face Sri Lanka in the first ANZ ODI at the beautiful Hagley Oval. Buy your ticket or reserve your seat on the couch and get ready for Brendon McCullum and his troops to put on a show. BYC at the innings break optional.

2. Brendon McCullum’s set to eclipse AB de Villiers world record of 99 consecutive Tests
This one is pretty special. When he takes the field for the second ANZ Test in Hamilton, BLACKCAPS captain Brendon McCullum will become the first player to have played 99 CONSECUTIVE Test matches. He’s a tough customer is our skipper.

1. The BLACKCAPS look to extend their 12-Test unbeaten run at home - that's 60 days of Test cricket at home without a loss!
It’s been a couple of great years for the BLACKCAPS Test side, having gone 12 Tests unbeaten on home soil, including three Test Series victories in a row. Anyone recall a better streak? Three ANZ Tests left this summer and the boys will be dead keen to keep that record intact. Keep counting from today!

With Thanks To

Sky Sport Pitch ANZ Ford Mediaworks
Accor Hotels CCC Dream11 Dynasty Gillette GJ Gardner Hertz Les Mills Monteiths Powerade TAB