No injury signs as McCullum returns for NZ XI

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 18:40 27/11/2013

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Brendon McCullum didn't get as much time in the middle as he wanted, and perhaps needed, but his troublesome back came through a short work-out today.

The New Zealand skipper faced 30 balls on day one of the New Zealand XI-West Indies XI match at Lincoln, scoring 22 including four boundaries before he was bowled by West Indian quick Sheldon Cottrell.

McCullum looked strong down the ground in his brief stay and showed no obvious signs of the back pain he's been suffering.

McCullum declared the home side's innings over late in the day at 227-8.

Hamish Rutherford enjoyed valuable time in the middle, scoring a breezy, boundary-laden 61.

The test opener took a liking to Cottrell and Shannon Gabriel, hitting 12 fours and bringing up his half century in just 29 balls before being dismissed by one of the West Indies XI's six New Zealanders, Ili Tugaga.

The tourists have only their test specialists in New Zealand currently while the rest of the squad completes its ODI tour in India.

Rutherford's test opening partner Peter Fulton scored just one and was bowled off Cottrell's first ball of the match while No 3 hopeful Dean Brownlie was trapped in front by Gabriel for just six.

Tom Latham is likely to be named in the test squad and looked solid for his 27 before he was picked up by Otago's Sam Wells.

Latham is yet to play a test and was disappointed not to convert his start and push his case for a spot in the playing XI next week.

"It would have been nice to get a score and put my name in front of the selectors' faces. But it wasn't to be, hopefully I get another crack on day three."

The West Indies XI opening bowlers and Wells all took two wickets each while Anurag Verma (31no), Todd Astle (30), Latham, Mark Craig (24) and McCullum all got starts for the New Zealand XI. 

New Zealand XI 227-8dec (H Rutherford 61, A Verma 31no, T Astle 30, T Latham 27, M Craig 24, B McCullum 22; S Wells 2-21, S Gabriel 2-53, S Cottrell 2-60) met West Indies XI

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