At green and hazy Seddon Park, Jesse Ryder stared into the abyss. Two short of the maiden Test hundred that will have occupied much of his waking and dreaming life, New Zealand nine down, Chris Martin walking in, Harbhajan Singh, right arm over, five to come.
Chris Martin: Innings 65, runs 72, ducks 23, balls faced 388, average length of innings 5.96 balls. Everything coming down to the .96. Now that's what Test cricket is about; the drama within the drama. Martin did it, and so did Jesse. It's debatable who actually batted better, given their respective abilities.
Martin's career with the bat is ascending towards the epic. His highest score of 12* represents a sixth of his total runs, compiled over another 64 innings. As a percentage it must be some kind of unbeatable record.
He will probably retire as the worst batsman every to play Test cricket. Sadly he won't play enough one dayers to challenge the most heroic of careers there, the statistically unstoppable GD McGrath. McGrath went through 27 one day series without scoring a run, including the entire calendar year of 2004. That beat his own record of 2001, when he made one in 18 games. He hit an average of one four every two years. He retired with 115 runs, less than a third of his 381 wickets.
McGrath didn't quite do the double: in tests his 641 runs finally exceeded his 563 wickets, although the wickets were ahead for a long while. Martin probably has enough Test wickets - 146 - to beat that already. At his current average of 2.17, he'll require another 40-odd innings to get close.
Stats like those and days like these: 132 years old, indomitable and unbeatable.