Ryder, Taylor hit timely tons for BLACKCAPS

Jesse Ryder followed then bettered the example set by his leader Ross Taylor as the BLACKCAPS had much the better of a draw against Australia A in Brisbane today.

]The four-day fixture ended tamely enough at Allan Border Field but not before Taylor and Ryder collared the bowlers to post entertaining centuries and confirm their form for the upcoming test series.

Ryder scored a rollicking 175, peppered by a world record equalling 16 sixes, and captain Taylor 138 as the tourists prospered to the tune of 467 for six in their second innings.

They took full advantage of a batsmen-friendly pitch and short boundaries after the New Zealanders resumed this morning at 75 for two in their second innings, leading overall by 103 runs with Taylor on 14 alongside opener Martin Guptill on 37.

They both dominated an Australia A seam attack featuring three members of that country’s test squad who were all used sparingly, with Taylor raising three figures shortly before lunch when he stepped back to a short offering from left-arm spinner Michael Beer to force it through extra cover for his ninth four.

Taylor was also not shy of taking the aerial route and his century also contained four sixes from the 142 balls he needed to reach the milestone in three hours.

After losing Guptill for 47 the New Zealanders went to lunch on 214 for three, with the skipper joined by Ryder, who attacked anything loose to enjoy his light meal on 35.

They both continued to prosper in the afternoon until their 160-run fourth wicket partnership ended when Taylor top edged a slog sweep to deep backward square leg.

He left the middle after facing 171 balls over 225 minutes and hitting 11 fours and seven sixes.

Ryder’s timely contribution came at an even quicker rate as the Wellington Firebirds batsman required just 92 deliveries to reach three figures, his runs coming in 141 minutes and highlighted by eight sixes and as many fours.

He kept his foot planted in a brutal assault as he required only another 44 balls to speed through to 175 before picking out square leg to end a brilliant knock.

In all, Ryder blasted 16 sixes to go alongside 11 fours in a stay lasting 200 minutes, and was he largely responsible for the tourists helping themselves to 200 runs in the second session alone.

Only two other players – Australia’s Andrew Symonds and Englishman Graeme Napier – have struck as many sixes in a first-class innings.

Just to round out a profitable day Dean Brownlie took the opportunity to get his eye in as well, finishing on 53 not out after 146 minutes at the crease.   

The tourists now turn their attention to the test series which begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday. The second and final test follows in Hobart.

Day 3: Testing day for BLACKCAPS

The BLACKCAPS got what they wanted as their on-going tour match against Australia A continued in Brisbane today.

The coaching staff were always keen for the seam bowling attack to be worked hard on a batsmen-friendly Allan Border Field so there would have been few grumbles as the composite team kept the tourists in the field for another two sessions on the third day of the four-day fixture.

Benign pitch conditions and shortish boundaries meant the tourists needed to maintain their disciplines, which they largely fulfilled by dismissing the Australians for 395 to earn a first innings lead of 28 runs.

The New Zealanders then ended the penultimate day ahead overall by 103 runs after reaching stumps on 75 for two.

Opener Martin Guptill and captain Ross Taylor are set to resume tomorrow on 37 and 14  respectively after the BLACKCAPS lost first innings centurymaker Brendon McCullum for five and Kane Williamson who gloved a bouncer high and to the left of the wicketkeeper when on 14.

Earlier, the New Zealand bowlers were made to work hard for any success on an unresponsive pitch as Australia resumed their first innings at 187 for four, with opener Ed Cowan well set on 60 alongside fellow left-hander Matthew Wade on 10.

Cowan continued to work hard for his runs before raising his 11th first-class century and he pressed on to 145 in 434 minutes of studious attention to detail when fast bowler Tim Southee produced quick yorker to knock his stumps over.

He and Wade put together a stand of 150 for the fifth wicket but once these two were parted the last five wickets fell for 69 runs.

Wade then departed for 53, bowled by newcomer Trent Boult, and the left-armer also accounted for Ben Hilfenhaus en route to earning figures of two for 80 off 25 overs.

Doug Bracewell, who snapped up three wickets yesterday, was the best of the seam attack with his four for 87 off 19.3 overs, while Southee did his share to take two for 85 off 23 and veteran Chris Martin finished with two for 64 off 21.

The game is the BLACKCAPS only outing ahead of the first test against Australia, starting at the Gabba in Brisbane next Thursday. The second and final test follows in Hobart.

Day 2: Bracewell hits out for BLACKCAPS

Rookie international Doug Bracewell revealed a burgeoning talent with the bat as the BLACKCAPS tour match against Australia A continued today in Brisbane.

The 21-year-old Central Stags fast bowler has genuine claims to allrounder status judging by an aggressive late order contribution which saw the tourists post 423 in their first innings on the second day of the four-day fixture at Allan Border Field.

Bracewell belted 73 not out off 79 balls at No 8 in the order, important runs after the New Zealanders failed to fully push on after resuming on 290 for four following Brendon McCullum’s electric 146 on the first day.

He then fronted with the ball also, taking three for 37 as Australia A responded with 187 for four by the close.

Bracewell accounted for dangerous opener David Warner for 65, caught behind by wicketkeeper Reece Young shortly before the tea break, and the same combination worked again after the resumption to remove Nic Maddinson for five.

Later, he trapped Steve Smith leg before wicket for eight, completing a fine day’s work for the tourists who hold the upperhand at the halfway stage.

Tim Southee chimed in with the wicket of skipper George Bailey for 27, caught in the gully by Jesse Ryder, leaving the Australians to resume tomorrow with Ed Cowan on 60 and Matthew Wade on 10.

Southee was a touch expensive as he went for 56 runs off 13 overs but his colleagues generally kept things tight as the home side were kept in check as they scored at 3.28 runs per over, well below the rate managed by the New Zealanders on the first day.

Earlier, Dean Brownlie added only five runs to his overnight tally for the tourists before departing for 26, undone by a bouncer from Mitchell Starc which he attempted to pull but succeeded only in top edging to Ben Cutting.

Ross Taylor, meanwhile, had safely ticked off the five runs he needed for his 50 but he left shortly after for 56 when a gentle push outside off stump saw the Australians’ appeal for caught behind upheld.

Wicketkeeper Reece Young was needlessly run out for seven after a misunderstanding with Bracewell, and it was he who took over by attacking the Australians with gusto after the tourists had been 329 for seven.

It represented Bracewell’s third first-class half-century, following two for the Stags, including a career high 87.

Quick James Pattinson was the pick of the Australia A attack who responded well after being placed under McCullum’s blowtorch yesterday. He ended with four for 96 off 19 overs.
Bracewell was then asked to do a job with the ball, which he did when introduced as the first change.

The game is the  BLACKCAPS only outing ahead of the first test against Australia, starting at the Gabba in Brisbane next Thursday. The second and final test follows in Hobart.

Day 1: McCullum makes early statement

Opener McCullum was at his pugnacious best as he compiled a punishing 146 after the New Zealanders lost the toss and were inserted following a delay of close to an hour due to morning drizzle.

McCullum appreciated a benign pitch and shortish boundaries as he struck the ball with his customary power, reaching his 11th first-class century off just 85 balls as the Australian A bowlers were given an unsubtle reminder of his forthright approach.

He put on a fluent 148 for the first wicket with Martin Guptill, whose innings ended on 43 when he hit a ball to gully.

Guptill was much more circumspect, but solid, taking 20 balls to get off the mark before getting into his stride.

McCullum raised his century in the over after Guptill’s dismissal and two balls later deposited a poor delivery over deep point for his fifth six.

Kane Williamson, coming off a Northern Knights record 284 not out in the Plunket Shield at home, missed out when he got stuck on the crease before trying to direct a ball from James Pattinson to the on side. He missed and was adjudged leg before wicket for three.

Thirty-year-old McCullum got on top of the bowlers early with the Australain attack persisting with a short length and stayed on top of things until fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus induced and edge behind to Matthew Wade.

He had harvested his runs off only 115 balls and hit 21 fours as well as six sixes in a forceful statement of intent.

After an early tea was taken due to more rain, Jesse Ryder was caught out for 22, pulling off his hip to deep backward square leg.

It was then left to skipper Ross Taylor, on 45 not out, and Dean Brownlie, unbeaten on 21, to take  the tourists to an early close forced by bad light.

Earlier, much interested surrounded the composition of the New Zealand playing 11.  In the end coach John Wright and Taylor chose to rest Daniel Vettori, which enabled them to name a four-pronged seam bowling attack containing Chris Martin, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell and Trent Boult.

In Vettori’s absence the slow bowling cover for this game will come from Williamson and Guptill.

The match is the BLACKCAPS only outing ahead of the first test starting at the Gabba in Brisbane next Thursday. The second test follows in Hobart.

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