New Zealand set to make McMillan call

PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Leicester, England
May 31, 2004 09:55 PM IST

Craig McMillan is due to discover on Tuesday if he will be fit enough to face England in this week's second Test at Headingley.

New Zealand batsman Craig McMillan is due to discover Tuesday if he will be fit enough to face England in this week's second Test at Headingley.

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McMillan was forced to retire hurt while batting against Leicestershire's Darren Maddy at Grace Road on Sunday.

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New Zealand manager Lindsay Crocker, speaking after his side completed the first win of their tour by a massive 328 runs here Monday, said: "He (McMillan) has re-broken the little finger of his left hand.

"The situation is as it was last time (at Lord's) where he continued to play. We'll see how painful it is for him to hold the bat.

"It is still pretty sore and swollen at the moment, and we are waiting for it to settle and the bruising to die down a bit.

"But the plan is that he will have a bat tomorrow (Tuesday) and see how he feels.

"We have also decided to call up Mathew Sinclair, who is over here playing in the East Anglian League, as cover for us in case of any further injuries," Crocker added of Thursday's second Test.

New Zealand need to win at Headingley to square the three-match series at 1-1 after their seven-wicket defeat at Lord's.

Against Leicestershire they were boosted by Daniel Vettori's haul of five for 92, the left-arm spinner's first five wickets in an innings haul for two-and-a-half years, as the hosts were bowled out for 232 in their second innings.

Vettori ended with match figures of nine for 152 ahead and New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said: "It was good for him to get some reward for his bowling.

"He knows he can still get better, but nine wickets in this match will have done a lot for his confidence ahead of the Test."

The last time Vettori took five wickets in an innings was in Perth in December 2001 when he claimed six for 87 against Australia.

Only Maddy and opener John Maunders offered any kind of resistance as Leicestershire chased a massive 561 for victory, the duo putting on 86 for the third wicket.

Kiwi paceman Kyle Mills did his best to press his claims for promotion to the Test side with three for 51.

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