New Zealand off to a good start in 3rd Test against England

Peter Fulton was unbeaten on 41 at Lunch on Day One of the third Test between New Zealand and England at Auckland © AFP

Auckland: Mar 22, 2013

New Zealand withstood England‘s new-ball attack to reach 79 for one at lunch on the opening day of the third and final Test at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday.

Opening batsman Peter Fulton was unbeaten on 41 and Kane 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.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 79 for 1 (Peter Fulton 41*, Hamish Rutherford 37) vs England

Full Scorecard