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New Zealand-England pink ball warm-up game sees batsmen struggle

All of the wickets in the first day of the New Zealand-England warm-up game fell during the first session, when the pink ball has typically not moved in the air as much as it does under lights.

cricket Updated: Mar 15, 2018 12:29 IST
Reuters. Wellingotn
England cricket team,New Zealand cricket team,New Zealand vs England
England batsman Liam Livingstone plays a shot during day two of the Test warm up match between England and New Zealand Cricket XI at Seddon Park on March 15, 2018 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Getty Images)

Early indications suggest that both sides in New Zealand’s first ever home day-night test could find it difficult batting with the pink ball.

The two-match series against the England cricket team opens with a day-nighter in Auckland from March 22 and in order to get accustomed to conditions, the tourists are playing a New Zealand XI in a two-day game using a pink ball at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

England’s test attack had the New Zealand cricket team in trouble on Wednesday’s first day with James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood reducing the home team to 30 for five by the 17th over.

Test openers Jeet Raval and Tom Latham were dismissed for seven and 10 respectively, while middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls scored 14 and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme was out for four.

All of the wickets fell during the first session, when the pink ball has typically not moved in the air as much as it does under lights.

Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, however, shook off the disappointment of being dropped for the fit-again BJ Watling to follow up his century on test debut against West Indies last December with a composed 131 not out as the ball softened.

Canterbury pace bowler Kyle Jamieson, who averages 14 with a highest first-class score of 40, combined well with Blundell and scored 101 not out before he retired.

The New Zealand XI declared on 376-9 after 90 overs and turned the game over to England’s batsmen on the second day of a contest in match conditions that has no official status.

The visitors did not fare much better against what was essentially a domestic attack, with Doug Bracewell the only player with test experience as they took advantage of overcast conditions to get the ball to swing.

England’s test top five of Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root and Dawid Malan were all dismissed by the 19th over, with Cook scoring 30 as they slumped to 65-5.

Liam Livingstone, however, pressed his test credentials as he top-scored with 74 not out before England’s 10th wicket fell for 195 in 46.1 overs. Like New Zealand on the first day, they continued to bat on.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes missed the game with a back injury.

A separate two-day match, involving the traditional red ball, will be played at the same venue starting on Friday. None of New Zealand’s test squad have been named for that game.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 12:29 IST