'It still doesn't feel real' - Catch-a-Million winner bought his shirt minutes before catch

With one swing of Martin Guptill's bat, Craig Dougherty's life changed forever.

As the Black Caps opener's flick off his hip into the University Oval crowd landed firmly in Dougherty's right hand, the 34-year old builder picked up a cool $50,000 for his trouble - becoming the summer's first Catch-a-Million competition winner.

Nearly 24 hours later, Dougherty is still coming to terms with how a casual day at the cricket turned into the biggest payday of his life so far.

"It's pretty bloody crazy," he told 1 NEWS.

"I took it, and then started jumping up and down.

"I threw a few high fives to my mates, turned round to the skipper of my cricket team and gave him a big hug."

"I sat down and thought 'what the hell's just happened?' It still doesn't feel real."

The Albion club cricketer revealed that he nearly missed out on the chance at the prize altogether, unable to procure a competition shirt until the very last minute.

"I didn't have a Tui t-shirt! Online you couldn't get them straight away. I was sitting there thinking 'oh bugger I've missed out'.

"I found out there were Tui t-shirts for sale, so I quickly ran down there, got back, sat on my seat - next thing I knew it was flying straight at me."

Now $50,000 better off, Dougherty got to meet the batsman responsible for his financial windfall after the match.

"I met up with Martin (Guptill) afterwards.

"He said he sort of chipped it, I said that's good because if you'd middled it, it'd have gone straight through my hand!"

Tui Catch-a-Million winner Craig celebrates his catch attempt of the six of Blackcaps batsman Martin Guptill
Tui Catch-a-Million winner Craig celebrates his catch attempt of the six of Blackcaps batsman Martin Guptill Source: Photosport

When asked how he was planning on spending his $50,000 winnings, Dougherty admitted he was clueless about what he'd do.

"I haven't really decided yet - no real plans. Maybe a new kitchen for the wife?"

With yesterday's catch the first of the year, Dougherty's effort will serve as inspiration to other cricket fans heading along to see the Black Caps in action this summer.

When asked about whether he had any advice for punters hoping to have the same luck as he did, the response was simple.

"Just relax. I didn't think about it too much when it was coming at me."

Watch: David Warner celebrates like it's a Test after reaching ton in club match

David Warner's time away from cricket doesn't appear to have taught the disgraced Australian opener any humility, bringing out an over the top celebration in a Sydney club match.

Warner and former captain Steve Smith both made their Australian returns yesterday, following their involvement in a ball tampering scandal earlier this year.

Striding to the wicket, Warner belted 155 not out for Randwick-Petersham,  although it was his celebration at reaching three figures that gave an insight into his temperament.

The opener produced his Test match celebration, running before jumping and punching the air in delight, before acknowledging the crowd.

Onlookers were left somewhat perplexed, amused by the fact a player of Warner's ability felt it necessary to celebrate against amateur club players.

The banned opener made 155 not out on his return to the pitch. Source: ABC Australia



David Warner smashes 155 in return to Sydney club cricket, Steve Smith also in the runs

David Warner has hit an unbeaten century and Steve Smith scored 85 as Australian cricket's banned former leaders prospered on day one of the Sydney grade season.

Former captain Smith also took 1-29 off five overs and two catches for Sutherland in his first cricket match in Australia since being banned for his involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Former vice-captain David Warner, who was also slapped with a year-long ban for his involvement in the incident, scored 155 not out off 152 balls for Randwick- Petersham.

The presence of Australia's two most prolific Test batsmen generated big crowds at both venues.

About 1000 turned up at Glenn McGrath Oval, including the legendary former quick the ground is named after.

Several hundred were present at Coogee Oval, where canteen sales were so brisk that club officials had to bring in more beer.

Warner struck 13 fours and a couple of sixes in a perfectly paced innings as his team reached their target of 278 off the final ball.

He faced an attack including two Test bowlers in Josh Hazlewood and Trent Copeland, with the former taking 1-30 off eight overs in his first game after a back injury.

"(Warner) played really well. He's very good in those situations ... a pretty special knock," said Hazlewood, who expects to return to NSW duty in the one-day cup on October 1.

Asked if he exchanged any banter with Warner, Hazlewood said "it was pretty quiet. He was just going about his business and knuckled right down and got the result, which is what he was after."

Like Smith, Warner won't be eligible to play international cricket again until early next year.

"He's obviously a very good player. It''s about putting in place a culture that can fit him back in and hopefully he plays his best cricket when he does come back," Hazlewood said.

"It's still a long way away. He's got some batters in there that he has to push out that are doing well so we'll see when the time comes."

Smith was dropped early in his 92-ball innings but tallied six fours and a six. Like Warner, he top-scored for his club.

"He batted nicely. You could see he was very much in the zone," said Smith's former international teammate Shane Watson.

"He was always going to come out and do well. He's obviously got plenty of desire inside him."

Smith and Warner, who didn't speak to the media after their matches, were greeted with warm applause when going out to bat.

"The support that he has got today will just reassure (Smith) that everything is OK," said Watson, who couldn't play alongside Smith due to injury.

"People do make mistakes and then people do forgive and certainly forgive very quickly."

Australian players David Warner and Steve Smith at the end of the match. New Zealand Black Caps v Australia, Chappell Hadlee Trophy Match 3. ANZ ODI Cricket Series. Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand. Monday 8 February 2016. Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
Australian players David Warner and Steve Smith. Source: Photosport



Spinners galore as White Ferns name side for T20 series against Australia

New Zealand will take a spin-heavy bowling attack into their three-match women's Twenty20 series against Australia.

Five players are proven international slow bowlers and should get plenty of overs during the series starting at North Sydney Oval on September 29.

Coach Haidee Tiffen has based selection on her belief slow bowling will be important at the women's World T20 in the West Indies in November.

One of the spin group is new skipper Amy Satterthwaite.

The allrounder takes over from Suzie Bates, who surprisingly relinquished the captaincy last week.

Bates is the most potent batting force in the New Zealand team and is ranked second in the world in the shortest format, just ahead of Australian pair Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney.

Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Amy Satterthwaite (capt), Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin.

New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr. International womens cricket, White Ferns v Australia, Blake Park, Tauranga, New Zealand. Sunday, 5 March, 2017. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand bowler Amelia Kerr. Source: Photosport


Opinion: Sorry Beauden, but Brodie Retallick is the best rugby player on the planet

If there's one thing to take away from the All Blacks' shock 36-34 defeat to the Springboks in Wellington on Saturday, it's that New Zealand are by far and away a worse side without Brodie Retallick packing down in the second row.

Having limped off during the opening stages of the 46-24 win over Argentina in Nelson the week before, Retallick's absence was felt by the All Blacks, as South Africa sealed their first win on Kiwi soil since 2009.

All Blacks flanker Cane made the remarks teammate Retallick on Sunday. Source: 1 NEWS

After missing last year's end of year tour after a personal tragedy, Retallick returned to the black jersey like a duck to water at the start of the 2018 Rugby Championship against the Wallabies in Sydney, putting in one of the most dominant individual displays, not just by a lock, but by any All Black in recent memory.

He then backed that up a week later at Eden Park, putting in another demolition job against a shell shocked Australian side, helping the All Blacks lock the Bledisloe Cup away for yet another year.

However, a sternum injury suffered in Nelson against Argentina will see him miss the end of the current Rugby Championship campaign, and in a worst case scenario, could be in doubt for this year's end of year tour too.

The All Blacks prop is set to bring up his 100th Test cap, but has yet to score a try in his international career. Source: 1 NEWS

Stats never lie, and the All Blacks' numbers with and without Retallick prove just how much of an impact one player can have on such a star-studded side.

With him in the side in the 2018 Rugby Championship alone, the All Blacks have scored 78 points, conceding 25. Without him, they've scored 80 but conceded 70.

Away from the All Blacks, Retallick's abilities are made clear as well. Before Retallick, the Chiefs had never won a Super Rugby title. With him, they claimed the trophy two seasons in a row back in 2012 and 2013.

Simply put, any team is worse without Retallick in the 23, this isn't just about last weekend's loss to South Africa either.

With the exception of the second Test against the Lions in Wellington last year, all of the All Blacks' shock losses in recent times have come when Retallick is out of the side.

Beauden Barrett said Scott wouldn’t see it as being unlucky to play in the same era as the two world-class locks. Source: 1 NEWS

Against Ireland in Chicago back in 2016 is a prime example. Retallick was probably the most notable absentee - and what happened? The Irish managed to claim their first ever win over the All Blacks, coming away victors 40-29.

Sir Colin Meads retired from playing long before I was born, but there is no way he could have been as influential on a side as Brodie Retallick is at the moment.

Devastating at the breakdown, a force in the lineout, and now seemingly possessing the ability of a back when it comes to open play, Retallick has truly become the ultimate rugby player under the tutelage of Steve Hansen - and thankfully for Kiwi fans, he doesn't look like chasing the Euro any time soon.

The forwards are encouraging NZ to get behind their new trend. Source: 1 NEWS

He may not have the star power of the likes of a Beauden Barrett or a Sonny Bill Williams, but Brodie Retallick's impact on Steve Hansen's All Blacks side cannot be underestimated.

The All Blacks' lock asserted his dominance against the Wallabies last month. Source: 1 NEWS