Undermanned New Zealand forced to toil
New South Wales 6 for 309 (Thornely 85, Hughes 64, Henriques 55) lead New Zealanders 266 by 43 runs
New Zealand's fast bowlers wanted to get plenty of overs under their belts in their only tour match and they got their wish as Dominic Thornely and his New South Wales colleagues batted throughout the second day. At stumps New South Wales had a lead of 43 and were 6 for 309, with the teenager Steven Smith on 47 and Daniel Smith on 5.
It was a frustrating day for the New Zealanders, who lost Jesse Ryder to a mystery illness and Brendon McCullum to back spasms. Aaron Redmond took the gloves when McCullum failed to emerge after tea, although New Zealand's manager Lindsay Crocker said resting McCullum was only a precautionary measure.
"He's had a bit of stiffness in the back for the last couple of days, and in that session he experienced a bit of a spasm in the back," Crocker told NZPA. New Zealand are hopeful McCullum will be able to return to the four-day match and Gareth Hopkins, the squad's backup gloveman, will still fly to Australia early next week as originally planned.
To add to New Zealand's woes they dropped four chances in the field and allowed three New South Wales batsmen to post half-centuries, in stark contrast to the one-man show from Jamie How on the first day. They picked up three wickets in the first session but the breakthroughs became less frequent later in the day as Thornely (85) and Steven Smith combined for a 101-run partnership.
Thornely, the captain of a very youthful New South Wales side, was only carrying on the good work that had started with two of his young colleagues. Phillip Hughes, 19, continued his excellent start to the season and made a fluent 64 before he edged a wide delivery behind off Iain O'Brien.
O'Brien was the most dangerous bowler early and before lunch he also picked up Peter Forrest, who was caught in the gully for 26. Chris Martin had already made a strike when he had Usman Khawaja caught behind for 5 and the visitors went to the first break with some momentum.
But Moises Henriques, the allrounder who spent time with Australia's squad in Darwin in September, began to show his potential with his first half-century at first-class level. Henriques struck six fours in his 55 before he edged to slip off Daniel Vettori.
It was the only success for New Zealand in the middle session but a wicket each to Martin and Tim Southee provided slightly more joy after tea. At least the fast men, who did not have much opportunity to bowl in the recent Test series in Bangladesh, were getting a decent workout ahead of Thursday's first Test in Brisbane.