Paarl: Dec 28, 2012
New Zealand‘s top order batsmen all spent valuable time at the crease on the first day of a three-day match against a South African Invitation XI at Boland Park on Friday.
The New Zealanders finished the day on 311 for six after winning the toss.
Only two batsmen, Kane Williamson (59) and captain Brendon McCullum (65) reached fifty but all seven of those in action honed their games in the only warm-up match ahead of the first Test against South Africa, starting in Cape Town on January 2.
“It was nice to spend time in the middle,” said Williamson.
“The wicket was fairly flat and we’re preparing for a different challenge in the first Test. We’re all aware that the conditions and the attack we’ll be up against will be very different.”
Daniel Flynn, who scored 23 off 34 balls, was the only batsman who did not spend at least an hour in the middle.
The match does not have first-class status, with both teams able to call on 12 players, although only 11 can bat or be on the field.
Williamson made his 59 off 100 balls, while McCullum made the transition from limited overs cricket to the longer version of the game with a watchful innings, facing 126 deliveries.
The best bowler for the Invitation XI was off-spinner Colin Ackermann, who took three for 46. The Invitation team was drawn from South Africa’s second tier first-class competition, contested mainly by amateur players.