Brownlie reminds Black Caps selectors with ton
Unwanted for the shambolic tour of Sri Lanka, Canterbury's Dean Brownlie produced batting figures to make Mike Hesson salivate yesterday.
Brownlie, jettisoned from the Black Caps after struggling with spin on the Caribbean tracks in August, scored 133 off 255 balls against Wellington on the third day of their Plunket Shield match in Rangiora.
The timing was impeccable; while the internationals are being slammed for their pathetic performance offshore, Brownlie was being hailed for his effort back at home.
A leafy North Canterbury park shouldn't be compared to the Sri Lankan conditions, yet Brownlie has undoubtedly offered Hesson a name to consider for next month's tour of South Africa.
Given the way the Black Caps curled-up during their 10-wicket defeat in the first test, the selectors should note the name of any Kiwi batsman showing some form.
Opener Michael Papps (95 not out) was also a major contributor as Wellington held a 73-run lead with 10 wickets in hand at stumps. They were 135 without loss in their second innings last night.
Canterbury captain Peter Fulton (79), who looked set to score his third consecutive century but was undone well before Canterbury declared at 301-8 for a 62-run first-innings lead, also sent a timely message.
But the day belonged to Brownlie.
Instructed to work on technique against spin bowlers in slow conditions after a poor tour of the West Indies, he was shipped off to India by New Zealand Cricket to analyse his deficiencies for a fortnight.
Although Wellington's attack was noted for its paucity of spin, Brownlie - who had been on 53 overnight - said that was only one component of what he learned in India.
He was also coy about promoting himself.
"I want to score runs any time I can.
"Whether there is a selection around the corner or not won't stop how hard I try," he said.
"That doesn't come into it all. Runs are runs. The selectors have to select their top 15 and if I am in, I am in. If not, well I'm not."
It was frustrating for Canterbury supporters to see openers Papps (95no) and Josh Brodie (39no) edge the new ball through the slips in the opening overs and survive.
Papps was in ominous form as the ball lost its shine but Brownlie was optimistic of forcing a result.
"If we get a few wickets early, hopefully we can chase them down in the last session," he said.
The second day's play was abandoned because of rain.