New Zealand cricketer Will Young scored a sparkling century for Central Districts on Tuesday afternoon, hours after being named in the Blackcaps squad to face the West Indies.
Young has scored heavily at first-class level for a number of years now but is still waiting to make his international bow.
The 27-year-old managed to keep newly New Zealand-qualified run-machine, Devon Conway, out of the latest Test squad, in a move that has raised a few eyebrows.
New Zealand cricketer Will Young strikes Shield century
Yet, he responded by demonstrating his considerable talent in a losing cause against Northern Districts at Nelson in the Plunket Shield on Tuesday.
Young strode to the crease with his side 12-1 in their second innings and trailing by 287 runs.
He quickly lost his skipper, Greg Hay, and wickets fell around him with relative regularity thereafter, as Tim Southee warmed up for the Windies Tests with a four-wicket haul.
However, Young appeared to be batting on a different surface to his teammates, as he struck 16 boundaries and a six on his way to an excellent 110* at a healthy strike-rate of 60.43.
The Test hopeful only received significant support from wicketkeeper, Dane Cleaver (48), and Northern Districts secured a 40-run victory when Ish Sodhi bowled last man, Raymond O’Toole (5), in the 68th over.
For all the quality he showed, though, this hundred is unlikely to be enough to earn Will Young a spot in the playing XI for the first match against the West Indies at Seddon Park in December.
Given Tom Blundell’s impressive start to life as a Test batsman and the quality of the other players available, he is only likely to make his long-awaited debut if a teammate drops out or picks up an injury.
Nonetheless, this was a timely innings from a highly-talented New Zealand cricketer playing in only his third first-class match since March.
Following the knock, Gary Stead knows he has an in-form player to turn to, should his side need tweaking during the two-Test series.