Black Caps top-order start poorly in West Indies

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 12:05 30/05/2014
Fulton and Rutherford
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POOR START: Openers Peter Fulton, right, and Hamish Rutherford both failed to impress on day one of the Black Caps tour of the West Indies.

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It was different continent, same story as New Zealand's top-order wobbles continued on day one of their West Indies cricket tour today.

Without frontline batsmen Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum and Corey Anderson, the Black Caps limped to 112-6 against a Jamaica Selection XI before declaring.

Otago offspinner Mark Craig then made a promising first appearance for his country, taking 3-17 off nine overs as the hosts reached 94-5 in reply at stumps on day one of the two-day tour opener at Trelawny Stadium.

With the four absent batsmen, and paceman Tim Southee, set to arrive in the coming days, this was a low-key shakedown.

But this was a chance for stand-in skipper Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford and challenger Tom Latham to put compelling selection cases against the local bowlers, with Hesson saying the opening spots remain up for grabs in the first test at Kingston, starting on June 9.

On a typically bare, lifeless surface, the test incumbent pairing continued their struggles for runs from the home summer. Fulton (0) edged to second slip in the fourth over then Rutherford (13) was lbw offering no shot.

Latham, batting at three, top-scored with 33 before he was lbw playing across the line to left-arm paceman Gavon Brown. He earlier skittled test gloveman BJ Watling for seven as New Zealand limped to 53-4 at lunch.

Spin duo Ish Sodhi (23) and Craig (11) were unbeaten when Hesson decided he'd seen enough.

Craig got into his work strongly with the ball, snaring wickets to an edge to second slip, a top-edged sweep and a lofted shot to deep square leg.

Left-armer Neil Wagner was the other successful New Zealand bowler, taking 2-18.

New Zealand's batsmen get a chance to make amends tomorrow, then the teams reconvene for a three-day match next week. 

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