Stewie Dempster was our first Test centurion and, until 1951, the only man to hit more than one century for the BLACKCAPS. Fittingly, it was a man of similar historic status who joined and beat Dempster, with Bert Sutcliffe pushing the record out to four before a break in his career saw him passed by JR Reid. He would once again equal the tally, but Reid pushed on to take the mark to six before his career ended. Congdon equalled Reid’s record before Turner matched it and went one better, then Congdon also added a 7th.

Having added four centuries across 1978 and 1979, many would have expected Geoff Howarth to be the next man to take the record. By February 1981, he was on the brink, hitting his sixth century against India at Wellington. Unfortunately for Howarth, that was his last triple-figure score in Tests and, a month later, John Wright announced himself as the next contender, making his first ton against India and adding another almost exactly a year later against Australia.

Before Wright could add another, however, a young man named Martin Crowe also made his first century. The pair would chase each other through the mid-80s but it was the young Crowe who equalled the Turner/Congdon mark, hitting 104 against the West Indies at Auckland in 1987. His sixth century had come in the previous Test, where Wright also reached the half dozen. Crowe had his 8th by the end of the year and he kept his teammate at bay until Wright retired with 11 Test centuries to his name. As we know, Crowe carried on making centuries through to his 17th and last at Old Trafford in 1994.

Since then, both Nathan Astle (11) and Brendon McCullum (12) have reached double figures for career centuries but only Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson have shown the consistency required to amass as many as Crowe. In 2017, both men equalled the record and now, in New Zealand’s historic first day/night Test, Kane Williamson is the first to reach 18.

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PlayerCenturies' RecordPrevious Record Equalled
Career Century No
New Record Set
Career Century No
Last Century
Career Centuries
CS Dempster
2
-v ENG, 30 June 1931
2
v ENG, 30 June 1931
2
B Sutcliffe
4
v ENG, 17 March 1951
2
v IND, 24 November 1955
4
v IND, 6 March 1965
5
JR Reid
5
v SA, 5 February 1962
4
v ENG, 18 March 1963
5
v PAK, 10 April 1965
6
B Sutcliffe
5
v IND, 6 March 1965
5
-v IND, 6 March 1965
5
JR Reid
6
v ENG, 18 March 1963
5
v PAK, 10 April 1965
6
v PAK, 10 April 1965
6
BE Congdon
6
v AUS, 3 March 1974
6
-v AUS, 23 Feb 1977
7
GM Turner
7
v IND, 8 February 1976
6
v IND, 20 November 1976
7
v IND, 20 November 1976
7
BE Congdon
7
v AUS, 23 Feb 1977
7
-v AUS, 23 Feb 1977
7
MD Crowe
17
v WI, 3 February 1987
7
v AUS, 12 December 1987
8
v ENG, 5 July 1994
17
KS Williamson
17
v SA, 27 March 2017
17
-v SA, 27 March 2017
17
LRPL Taylor
17
v WI, 11 December 2017
17
-v WI, 11 December 2017
17
KS Williamson
18
v SA, 27 March 2017
17
v ENG, 23 March 2018
18
v ENG, 23 March 2018
18

Cover photo: Jackie Mills (left) and Stewie Dempster (right) walk off the Basin Reserve after scoring, respectively, New Zealand’s second and first Test centuries against England, 1930.

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