Hamish Marshall shows his best touch in London
One Test cap Hamish Marshall smashed an unbeaten 183 against London New Zealand Cricket Club on Sunday to lead a Wanderers side boasting four New Zealand first-class players to a 35-run victory over the expat Kiwi club at Harefield in Middlesex.
Wanderers posted 268 for four before dismissing a hard-charging LNZ side for 233 with five overs remaining.
Asked to bowl first, the London Kiwis started well enough, with Sean Martin (one for 56) trapping former Test opener and Wellington captain Matthew Bell lbw for four. Wellington middle-order batsman Luke Woodcock also departed cheaply, having his leg stump knocked out of the ground by fired-up former Otago and New Zealand paceman Aaron Gale (one for 46), who has been in fine form as a stand-in player for the Harefield Cricket Club in recent weeks.
But Marshall, whose sole Test innings was an undefeated 40 against South Africa in December 2000, was in no mood to follow suit, settling in comfortably on a pitch that had looked difficult for batting. None of the LNZ bowlers escaped punishment as Marshall quickly upped the tempo in an innings that lasted only 134 balls, but included 29 fours and three sixes.
It was an innings of the highest quality from Marshall, whose failure to post a first-class or one-day century in New Zealand domestic cricket has seen him slip from international contention. Wellington batsman Leighton Morgan made 24, departing just before the declaration.
In reply, LNZ started well with openers Michael Singleton and Matt Rheinholdt (53) posting 55 in quick time, before Singleton was the first to go, bowled for 23. Canterbury club player Sam Foley (40) combined with Rheinholdt to take the Kiwis through to 99 before left-arm spinner Woodcock found an edge from Rheinholdt that was nicely held by Marshall at slip. Foley then mis-timed a pull shot to be the first of three LNZ batsmen to fall caught and bowled.
The LNZ middle order then crumbled in the face of an all-spin attack, with Isaac Southwell's 29 the only contribution of note before Gale (18 not out) and Steve Deane (37) combined in a scintillating last-wicket stand of 55 that took the expats to within sight of an unlikely victory. But Woodcock (five for 70) had the last laugh, bowling Deane to clinch his fifth wicket of the day and seal the victory for Wanderers.