16 May 2015

Rutherford top scores for Black Caps

6:33 am on 16 May 2015

Hamish Rutherford top scored for New Zealand with 75 as the tourists scored 261 for 9 declared on the second day of their cricket tour match against Worcestershire.

Hamish Rutherford got a start against Somerset but couldn't push on

Hamish Rutherford got a start against Somerset but couldn't push on Photo: Photosport

After the first day was rained out New Zealand decided to bat first and in reply the home side was 65 for 1 at stumps.

Rutherford, who batted number 3, hit 75 from 140 balls in 3 and a half hours at the crease.

At the tail, Doug Bracewell (43 from 64 balls) and Neil Wagner (16*) combined for an important 70 run, ninth wicket partnership before the visitors declared on 261-9.

The hosts responded in kind with Worcestershire's Richard Oliver (30) and Darryl Mitchell (15*) entertaining their home fans with a 40 run opening stand.

Wagner, the pick of the NZ bowlers with a lively spell of 1 for 6 from six overs, got the breakthrough in the 14th over when Oliver edged one to Martin Guptill at third slip.

England's international Moeen Ali (20*) was resolute as he carried his bat to the close of play and Worcestershire will resume tomorrow 196 runs behind with nine wickets in hand.

After the opening day of the four day match was washed out by heavy rain, stand-in skipper BJ Watling won the toss and opted to bat in the warm and fine conditions.

The New Zealand XI made a steady start but lost wickets at regular intervals with Tom Latham (7), Guptill (35) and Ross Taylor (12) all departing to be 96-3 after 27 overs.

Guptill, in his comeback match from a side strain and pressing for a spot in the Test side, timed the ball superbly before he was undone by a slower ball from Jack Shantry to be caught at mid-off.

Meanwhile Rutherford, the son of former BLACKCAPS skipper Ken, was the mainstay throughout.

He brought up his half century from 82 deliveries, and then combined with Mark Craig (17) for a 35 run partnership. He was stumped by Ben Cox off the bowling of Ali.

Worcestershire, cheered on by a sizeable crowd at one of England's traditional grounds, bowled with accuracy.

Ross Whiteley (2-16), Ali (2-35) and Charlie Morris (2-32) were the best performers as they restricted the New Zealand side.

In the latter stages, Bracewell and Wagner frustrated the Worcestershire attack with the former playing a leading role in the partnership striking six fours and a six in his innings.

His time at the crease came to an end when he was caught behind by Cox from the bowling of Ed Barnard and moments after Watling indicated the declaration from the balcony of the pavilion.

The New Zealand bowling line up, with Matt Henry and Ben Wheeler opening the attack, looked for early wickets but they were met by resistance and will hope to make inroads tomorrow.

This match against Worcestershire is not a first class fixture so the full squads from both teams can be interchanged throughout the match.

The first Test is at Lord's next week.

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