Queensland captain Chris Hartley is now the most prolific wicketkeeper in Sheffield Shield history after breaking Darren Berry’s all-time dismissals record on day three of the Bulls' match against Tasmania.
Having yesterday struck his 10th first-class century in his 126th Shield match for the Bulls, Hartley surpassed Berry's mark of 546 dismissals when he caught Simon Milenko off the bowling of Michael Neser during the second session at the Gabba.
The veteran 'keeper had drawn level with the Victorian late on day two of the match when Jordan Silk couldn’t get his bat out of the way of a Cameron Gannon delivery, edging through to the gloveman to fall for 15.
According to Cricket Australia’s official statistician Ross Dundas, Hartley now has 532 catches and 15 stumpings in a decorated 14-season career with his native state.
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While Dundas’ records differ from a number of other cricket statistics databases who have Hartley on different dismissal totals, his data has been officially cross-checked with official scoresheets at the end of each match.
Hartley posted a terrific unbeaten 102 to help the Bulls post 9-405 before declaring prior to tea on day two.
Hartley last summer surpassed his predecessor Wade Seccombe’s Queensland Shield record of 488 dismissals – the third highest tally in the competition – before becoming just the second ‘keeper after Berry to reach 500 dismissals.
And the 34-year-old’s record isn’t likely to be eclipsed any time soon; among active Shield glovemen, the next highest marks are Matthew Wade’s 278 dismissals, Peter Nevill’s 184, Tim Ludeman’s 165 and Tim Paine’s 165.
A model of consistency behind the pegs, Hartley has at times appeared to be Australia’s second choice gloveman and made three one-day appearances for Australia A in 2005 in Pakistan.
Although a national call-up has never come his way, Hartley’s stellar domestic career looks to have earnt him a prestigious place in Australia’s premier domestic cricket competition.