Tim Southee surpasses Chris Martin to third in New Zealand’s all-time Test bowling list
Tim Southee has moved past Chris Martin in New Zealand's all-time list. © AFP

Tim Southee has become New Zealand’s third most successful bowler in Test cricket, moving past former team-mate Chris Martin to sit behind Daniel Vettori and Sir Richard Hadlee.

In his 63rd Test match, fast bowler Southee moved past Martin’s mark of 233 with the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal on day one of the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka in Christchurch to occupy third place on New Zealand’s all-time list.

Hadlee owns the top spot with 431 wickets from 86 Test matches, followed by Vettori who claimed 361 in 112. Martin, who retired in 2013, took 233 from 71 Tests.

Southee, having earlier cracked 68 off 65 balls to help New Zealand from 64/6 to 172/7 before he was dismissed courtesy a stunning catch from Dhanushka Gunathilika at short midwicket, grabbed the first three Sri Lanka wickets to fall after tea at Hagley Oval. His first scalp was Dimuth Karunaratne, edging a drive to Kane Williamson at gully, followed by Chandimal who feathered a catch to BJ Watling. Then Gunathilika top-edged a pull to deep square leg.

This took him to 235 career Test wickets.

Southee was drafted into New Zealand’s Test squad soon after impressing for the Under-19s at the 2008 junior World Cup, and on debut against England at Napier he began with 5/55 in the touring team’s first innings and backed that up by smashing 77 from 40 balls, with nine sixes, in New Zealand’s second innings.

Southee’s pace and swing have made him an integral part of New Zealand’s bowling. With Trent Boult, the left-arm quick, he helped New Zealand reach the heights of No 2 in the ICC Test rankings when Brendon McCullum was captain from 2013-2016. In Test matches played alongside Boult – who sits close on his heels with 224 wickets – Southee and his new-ball partner have claimed a collective 477 wickets in 47 Tests.

Under McCullum’s captaincy, Southee took 101 wickets in 27 Tests at an average of 30.23. Under the current skipper Williamson, he has so far claimed 69 in 15 at an average of 24.49.