New Zealand 8 for 368 (Williamson 68, Craig 60, McCullum 58) drew with Cricket Australia XI 4 for 325
Brendon McCullum showed no lack of touch in his first match of New Zealand’s tour of Australia, scoring a brisk 58 on the second and final day of their game against the Cricket Australia XI in Canberra. Kane Williamson and Mark Craig also compiled half-centuries as New Zealand passed the CA XI’s total and moved along to 8 for 368 when stumps was called.
There was plenty of interest in how McCullum would fare in his first innings after he rested from the Prime Minister’s XI match following his trip to London to give evidence in the Chris Cairns trial. McCullum was his usual aggressive self and struck four fours and three sixes on his way to 58 from 49 deliveries before he retired to allow his team-mates a hit.
He was one of six New Zealanders to retire as most of the batsmen enjoyed some valuable time in the middle; only two wickets fell to the Australian bowlers throughout the day on a pitch offering little assistance. The tall Queensland fast bowler Billy Stanlake had Martin Guptill bowled for a duck when he shouldered arms, and Ross Taylor was caught behind off Jason Behrendorff for 16.
Williamson struck 13 fours in his 68 from 80 deliveries and Hamish Rutherford retired on 41 from 89 balls. There were also contributions from BJ Watling (41), Luke Ronchi (39) and Craig, who struck seven fours and two sixes in his 60 before he was the last man to retire as the match petered out to a draw.
Peter Siddle bowled with good pace at times during his 13 overs but was unable to make a breakthrough, while Ashton Agar leaked 111 runs from his 22 overs and Mitchell Marsh’s nine overs cost 60. New Zealand’s preparation will continue with a four-day game also against a Cricket Australia XI, starting in Sydney on Thursday.
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