Australia A v New Zealanders, Brisbane November 24, 2011

McCullum batters Test aspirant attack

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealanders 4 for 290 (McCullum 146, Taylor 45*, Pattinson 2-65) v Australia A

Brendon McCullum's blazing 146 from a mere 115 balls pushed the New Zealanders to a firm 4 for 290 against Australia A after rain and bad light shortened the first day in Brisbane, at the same time denting the Test hopes of several local fast bowlers.

Sent in to bat under overcast skies by the Australia A captain George Bailey, McCullum and his opening partner Martin Guptill added a slick 148 in only 28.2 overs before the first wicket fell, confounding an Australian attack that featured the pacemen Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Ben Cutting and James Pattinson.

Each fast man was taken for more than four runs an over, as McCullum pelted the boundaries of Allan Border Field with no fewer than 21 fours and 6 sixes. He was eventually dismissed by Hilfenhaus, heaving rashly outside off stump and being caught behind, though the method had already brought him great success.

Cutting, the subject of plenty of early season hype in his native Queensland, was not introduced by Bailey until late in the first session, waiting until even the left-arm spinner Michael Beer had been given a bowl.

Aside from Guptill's quiet 43, Ross Taylor collected an unbeaten 45 as the light began to fade, while Jesse Ryder will be annoyed to have swung a Cutting delivery straight to deep backward square leg on 22.

Kane Williamson, scorer of an unbeaten 284 for Northern Districts against Wellington in his last first-class appearance, was the only batsman not to make a start, pinned lbw by Pattinson for three.