New Zealand Batsmen Warm Up For First Test
New Zealanders 311-6 (McCullum 65) v
South Africa Invitation XI
Tour Match, Paarl, day one
The New Zealanders put the disappointment of the Twenty20 series loss behind them with a largely convincing performance on day one of their only warm-up match ahead of Wednesday’s first Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Kane Williamson, who was not part of the T20 squad, and captain Brendon McCullum both hit half-centuries, while no batsman made less than 23 as all enjoyed time in the middle.
The South Africa Invitational XI was made up of mainly provincial players - effectively the second-tier in South Africa’s first-class structure - as many of the franchise ones are involved in the ongoing round of matches in the Sunfoil Series and were unavailable. The players that did play performed admirably without posing as much of a threat as their franchise counterparts probably would have, with Eastern Province and sometime Warriors all-rounder Colin Ackerman the pick of the bowlers, taking three for 46 with his off-spin.
The New Zealanders began well and had advanced to 80 in the 17th over by the time they lost Peter Fulton for 39. Martin Guptill followed soon after for 42, before Williamson and McCullum added the biggest stand of the day - 108 for the third-wicket. Daniel Flynn (23) and James Franklin (37) both chipped in, with wicket-keeper BJ Watling unbeaten on 32 at stumps.
Tomorrow, the tourists will hope to give their bowlers a run, with Bruce Martin and Jeetan Patel both selected as they vie for what is likely to be one spin spot ahead of the first Test on 2nd January.
© Cricket World 2012
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