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August 16, 2011
New Zealand A have greatly benefited from being part of the Emerging Players Tournament in Queensland, according to team manager Grant Bradburn. New Zealand failed to win a game in the Twenty20 format of the tournament, and won only one three-day match, but Bradburn said the experience would help the players once the home domestic season started.
"Playing competitive international cricket at this time of year in those conditions is just absolute gold for their preparation leading into our summer," Bradburn, who also coaches Northern Districts, told New Zealand Herald."All those guys that got experience there will be that much better off for our domestic season."
The EPT also featured teams from Australia, India and South Africa. New Zealand won one of the three T20 games played and finished last on run-rate. They fared better in the three-day format, as they lost one game and drew two, finishing third in the standings. "There were different challenges for us," Bradburn said. "It was a three-day concept with no first-innings points, so it really created some urgency in terms of thinking about where we wanted to be positioned in the game.
"The whole concept gets a big plus in terms of the opportunities players were presented with," Bradburn said. "There's clearly opportunities at the Black Caps level and some guys have advanced their standing and taken the chance to put themselves further forward towards that recognition."
Allrounder Doug Bracewell was the standout performer for New Zealand in the T20 format with 91 runs and five wickets from three games. In the three-day format, Dean Brownlie was the second highest run-scorer of the tournament, making 413 runs from three games at an average of 103.25, with one century and two half-centuries.
"His technique was impressive, he was very consistent on tour," Bradburn said of Brownlie. "He's well equipped to score runs at a higher level."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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