Guptill, Watling shine against pink ball

23 November 2015

Martin Guptill hits a big drive against Western Australia XI // Getty Images


Martin Guptill hit a century before retiring as New Zealand gained valuable pink ball practice in their tour match at the WACA

New Zealand Tour of Australia, Two-Day Tour Match


Martin Guptill found form and flayed an inexperienced Western Australia attack on Sunday, before New Zealand suffered a collapse of 4-30 in the final session of their pink-ball tour match.

The Black Caps finished 10-426 at the WACA on Sunday, when they had three sessions of batting practice for the inaugural day-night Commonwealth Bank Test that starts on Friday.

NZ were reduced to 10-391 in the 80th over, but played on as agreed pre-match.

Guptill was the most productive batsman, retiring after reaching 103 before the dinner break.

BJ Watling also enjoyed some quality time at the crease in his knock of 81, while Brendon McCullum clubbed 49 off 28 balls against an inexperienced WA attack.

As has been the case in many of the day-night Sheffield Shield clashes, the game changed when the sun went down.

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Highly-rated paceman Joel Paris, yet to make his first-class debut, grabbed 3-19 in an impressive five-over spell with the old ball.

Andrew Tye then used the second new ball to remove Tim Southee and Ross Taylor, who batted at No.11 after his incredible knock of 290 in the second Test at the same venue.

Kane Williamson was rested from NZ’s innings, meaning he is yet to bat against the pink ball in a match.

NZ’s only previous pink-ball experience came in a home training camp and last month’s 50-over clash in Canberra, which Williamson also skipped.

Guptill hit 94 in that one-day clash at Manuka Oval, his only other score of substance on the current tour.

The opener has failed to pass 25 in all four of his knocks in the ongoing Test series, but he looked a different batsman against WA.

Australia’s powerful attack will present a lot more challenges at Adelaide Oval than the likes of Liam O’Connor, a 22-year-old leg-spinner yet to make his first-class debut.

But the leading run-scorer of this year’s World Cup clearly regained some of his natural aggression in a productive three-hour stint at the crease.

Guptill hammered O’Connor for a fourth sixth to bring up his ton off 107 balls.

"He's a quality player at the international level and I don't think he's far off producing some of the innings we know he can produce," NZ batting coach Craig McMillan predicted on Friday.

"One of the important things I talk to Gupp about is encouraging him to play similar to his one-day game."

Meanwhile, McCullum's 40-minute blitz was the highlight of Sunday's first session.

McCullum bludgeoned the pink ball all over the park before he was stumped on 49, charging down the wicket and trying to heave O'Connor's second delivery over the fence.

The Blackcaps skipper came to the crease at 2-63 and wasted few of his 28 balls, attacking David Moody and Duffield at almost every opportunity.

At one point WA had three men on the leg-side rope as McCullum mixed power with panache.

McCullum broke a bat when he cracked a bouncer from Duffield back over the paceman's head for six.

O’Connor finished with figures of 1-97 from 18 overs but his wicket was the prized scalp of McCullum, who was stumped by Josh Inglis.

Inglis also pocketed seven catches and will be cursing the fact the game is not a first-class fixture.

Queensland keeper Wally Grout’s eight dismissals at the Gabba in 1960 is the record for a first-class game in Australia.

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