Dubious pitch offers little to NZ warmup match

Last updated 05:00 05/06/2014
Peter Fulton
Getty Images
BAD RUN OUT: New Zealand's Peter Fulton.

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We'll have to wait to see what the proper cricket brings.

Little can be gleaned from New Zealand's last warmup clash in the Caribbean, which concluded in Jamaica this morning.

The Black Caps led by 146, with three second innings wickets and a day to play, at stumps on day two, having staggered to the close at 65-7 against a Jamaica Select XI.

The Trelawny Multiplex pitch was said to have misbehaved so badly on the second day that a fresh strip was going to be prepared for a final day's play that was set to begin with Ross Taylor (6) and Mark Craig (1) as New Zealand's not out batsmen.

The West Indies' best players are all in Barbados, with some in an intra-squad game and others playing a separate fixture against Bangladesh A. That left the Black Caps to meet a modest-looking Jamaican XI on a wicket doing up, down and sideways, courtesy of some significant cracks.

Despite the reservations about the standard of the opposition and the playing surface, the bald facts are that New Zealand's top-order batsmen have not done much in this game. Stand-in captain Peter Fulton completed a match double of nought and 2, missing straight ones in both innings, while Hamish Rutherford (10 and 10) and Tom Latham (16 and 8) have hardly fared much better.

BJ Watling's was the highest scorer with 12 as local quick bowlers Christopher Powell, Derval Green and Nicholson Gordon shared the seven wickets between them.

The Jamaica XI had declared their first innings at 122-9, in reply to New Zealand's first innings of 203-9.

Trent Boult trapped opener Horace Miller leg before with the second ball of the innings, before leg spinner Ish Sodhi took 5-35. Boult finished with two, while there were also wickets for Corey Anderson and Craig.

"Ish got more consistent as the innings went on and he produced a number of wicket-taking deliveries. Mark also bowled well, while Corey had a strong spell in the morning session," Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said.

Spinners Sulieman Benn and Shane Shillingford were among the better performers in the West Indies' practice match. Both will be in contention to play the first test in Jamaica, starting at 3am (NZT) on Monday, along with returning fast bowlers Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach.

Allrounder Dwayne Bravo was a late withdrawal because of an injury picked up at the IPL.

West Indies test squad: Denesh Ramdin (c), Sulieman Benn, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Jerome Taylor. 

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- The Dominion Post

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