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December 13, 2008
Jesse Ryder, the New Zealand batsman, was furious with himself for missing out on a maiden Test century. Ryder looked set for the milestone when on 89, but he lost his composure, miscuing a bouncer from Daren Powell straight to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at square leg.
"I'm fuming," Ryder said. "To miss out again after being in ... I had my game sorted and just to throw it away like that ... I'm still pretty angry. I miscued it big time." It was not the first time Ryder got close to a hundred - he fell for 91 in the rain-hit Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
His performance, though, vindicated new coach Andy Moles' decision to rejig the batting order. Ryder, who batted at No. 3 in the four previous Test, was given a more role two places down while Daniel Flynn was promoted to one-drop. Flynn top scored in New Zealand's 365, but he too fell five short of his first Test ton.
Ryder put on an 89-run stand for the fifth wicket with Brendon McCullum with whom he has opened in one-dayers. "It makes it pretty easy batting with him. We both know each other's game-plans and get on pretty well out there."
Ryder copped one on the body after a delivery from Fidel Edwards failed to rise. A few deliveries failed to rise as expected during the day, but Ryder said it was Edwards' fiery effort that caused trouble for the batsmen more than the pitch. "Fidel bowled a very good spell when he came back with the new ball," Ryder said. "He was buying good heat and he seemed to have the game plan where he just wanted to tuck us up and bump us a bit. Fair play to him he bowled a pretty good spell."
The Test seems headed for a draw thanks to the rain and poor drainage in Dunedin, but Ryder said the team, especially the batsmen, could take a lot of positives. "The feeling is pretty good. The boys got to bat for a bit of time and we got some runs under the belt."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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