Auckland: Mar 22, 2013
New Zealand opener Peter Fulton (124 not out) slammed his first Test century and added an unbeaten partnership of 171 with Kane Williamson (83 not out) as the home side ended the first day of the third Test against England at Auckland on 250 for one.
The 34-year-old Fulton played a fluent knock as his innings comprised of 15 boundaries and 3 sixes. Williamson, whose form has been crucial for the Kiwis in the recent past, scored yet another half-century and remained unbeaten at the end of the day. His innings was laced with 13 boundaries.
The duo built their strong partnership after lunch and have done well to remain not out for two session where England bowlers have struggled in supportive conditions.
Fulton was unbeaten on 41 and Williamson yet to score at the break, with paceman Steve Finn taking England’s only wicket of the session.
Finn dismissed Hamish Rutherford for 37 late in the session but it was scant return for the tourists after captain Alastair Cook won the toss and sent New Zealand into bat on the drop-in wicket.
With the fixture set up as a series decider following rain-affected draws in Dunedin and Wellington, Cook was hoping the wicket would offer his bowlers more pace and bounce than the flat tracks seen in the previous Tests.
But there was little to challenge New Zealand’s openers, who racked up a 79-run opening partnership before Rutherford threw away his wicket five minutes before lunch going after a loose Finn ball, which carried to Cook in the slips.
Until then, the New Zealanders had worked patiently to see off the new ball, making only 17 in the first 10 overs.
Fulton had a life on 16 when a James Anderson inswinger flew off the edge of his bat and narrowly avoided the slips cordon before running away to the boundary.
He made another mistake going after a short Broad delivery a few overs later but the short wickets at Eden Park, which is normally used for rugby, meant the ball flew over the boundary for six.
Rutherford smashed two sixes off Monty Panesar when the spinner was brought into the attack but came undone trying to do the same to Finn just as New Zealand appeared to have survived the opening session unscathed.
(With inputs from AFP)
Brief Scores: New Zealand 250 for 1 (Peter Fulton 124*, Kane Williamson 83*) vs England