Astle falls short of hundred

Updated on May 29, 2004 09:50 AM IST

Nathan Astle fell seven short of a century as New Zealand made 326/7 on the opening day of their four-day tour match against Leicestershire.

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PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Leicester, England

Nathan Astle fell seven short of a century as New Zealand made 326 for seven on the opening day of their four-day tour match against Leicestershire at Grace Road here on Friday.

It was a satisfactory day's work for the tourists, fresh from their seven-wicket defeat against England in the first Test at Lord's on Monday.

But, confronted by a second string attack, New Zealand could have really piled on the runs had Astle (93), Brendon McCullum (65) or captain Stephen Fleming (56) converted their fifties into hundreds.

Left-hander Fleming, who made a 69-ball fifty before he was caught at slip following a loose drive against seamer Charlie Dagnall in New Zealand's final tour match before next week's second Test against England.

Astle, having made fifty off a hundred balls, looked all set to bring up his century when, in the last over before tea, he fell lbw to David Masters aiming across the line.

After tea Masters took two wickets in two balls to get rid of Craig McMillan (43), who put on 94 with Astle, and then had all-rounder Chris Cairns caught behind by 19-year-old wicket-keeper Tom New off a rising delivery.

Wicket-keeper McCullum, playing as a batsman only in this match made a composed 65 before he was lbw to Dagnall.

The second Test of the three-match series is scheduled to start at Headingley on Thursday. England are due to name their squad on Sunday.

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