Happy Birthday James Franklin: Top Performances by the New Zealand All-Rounder
James Franklin (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Kiwi Cricketer James Franklin will celebrate his 39th birthday on Thursday (November 7, 2019). He is widely regarded as one of the most prolific all-rounders to ever play for the Black Caps. James played as a left-arm medium-pace bowler and an important middle-order batsman, who can strike the ball with tremendous power. He is one of the only two players from New Zealand to ever take a hat-trick in Test-Cricket, the other being Peter Petherick. He achieved this feat against Bangladesh on October 20, 2004. He is also the only bowler to have dismissed a batsman on his very first legitimate delivery in a World Cup, he achieved this feat against England in the 20017 World Cup. Kane Williamson's Bowling Action Given All-Clear by ICC.

James Franklin started his international Cricketing journey at the age of 20 when he made played in an ODI against Zimbabwe on January 2, 2001 and took 2 wickets in a five-over spell. Later that year, he began his Test career as well, playing against Pakistan but it did not go according to plan as he was dismissed for zero in both the innings and just took two wickets in the entire match. Franklin played in 31 Test matches in which he registered 82 wickets and 808 runs. In ODI’s he played 110 matches, scoring over 1000 runs and taking 81 wickets. On the occasion of the Kiwi’s 39th Birthday, we take a look at some of his top performances.

5/42 vs England, Durham 2004

This was one of the best bowling performances Franklin has produced in the 50-over format. He tore through the England batting line-up, as their innings was wrapped up at just 101 runs. Franklin showed his class as he finished the match with the magnificent figures of 5/42, which was also his career-best in ODI’s. New Zealand chased down the total in mere 17.2 overs.

45*(23) & 2/35 vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Kolkata 2011

Franklin’s best moment in a Mumbai Indians shirt came against Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League Match. Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan were his two victims as the Kiwi helped MI to restrict KKR to a score of 175/7 in their 20 overs. Franklin was also explosive with the bat in his hand as he scored a quick-fire 45 of just 23 deliveries including hitting Lakshmipathy Balaji for four boundaries in the first four deliveries of the final over. His innings took the game away from KKR’s grasp and for this, he was awarded Man of the Match.

122* vs South Africa, Cape Town 2006

This is the only century James Franklin has scored in his International career which spans over 14 years. This ton came against the Proteas in the second test at Newlands Cricket Ground. He along with Stephen Fleming dominated the South African bowling and shared a partnership of 256 runs, which is the third-highest in Test cricket for 8th wicket. Franklin also took three wickets in the first innings but it was his maiden test century when he came to bat at number nine that caught everyone’s eye.

6/119 vs Australia, Aukland 2005

Franklin’s career-best figures in Test cricket came against Australia in the summer of 2005. In a match where the Kiwis were resoundingly defeated, Franklin’s scintillating spell gave the Black Caps fans something to celebrate about. He was at his absolute best as ripped through the opening combination of Justin Langer and Mathew Hayden and then ran over the Aussie lower-order batting line-up before ending the innings with the figures of 6/199.

Remaining mostly on the outskirts of the New Zealand squad because of injuries, in 2015 Franklin signed for the English county club Middlesex and effectively brought an end to his international playing career. He captained the Middlesex team when they lifted the title in 2016 and ended a 23-year wait for a trophy. Franklin is currently the head coach of the Durham County Cricket Club.