Jamaica Select XI v New Zealanders, Greenfields May 31, 2014

Wagner, Craig impress in low-scoring draw

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealanders 112 for 6 dec (Latham 33, Gavon Brown 2-15) and 210 for 6 (Watling 50, Ronchi 41*, Odean Brown 3-56) drew with Jamaica Select XI 170 for 9 dec (Kennar Lewis 40, Wagner 5-38, Craig 3-17)

A five-wicket haul from Neil Wagner and three wickets from Mark Craig were the New Zealanders' biggest gains from a drawn, low-scoring tour game against Jamaica Select XI at Trelawny Stadium.

Having chosen to bat, the New Zealanders declared after batting for just 53 overs, having lost six wickets in that time. Tom Latham top-scored with a 69-ball 33, but none of the batsmen spent a serious length of time at the crease, with each of the five bowlers used by Jamaica Select XI picking up at least a wicket.

After that early close to their innings, the New Zealanders reduced the home side to 94 for 5 by the end of the day's play. Offspinner Craig, a new face in the touring party, picked up three of the five wickets and left-arm seamer Wagner the other two.

Wagner struck early on the second day, bowling wicketkeeper Aldaine Thomas without a run added to Jamaica Select XI's overnight total, and he took two more wickets before the home side declared on 170 for nine. Kennar Lewis, their No. 3, top-scored with 40, while Fabian Allen struck four fours in a 34-ball 31 down the order.

The New Zealanders got a bit more batting practice in their second innings, with all seven of their batsmen getting into double figures as they finished the match on 210 for six. None of them really kicked on, though. Peter Fulton made 30 before he became one of legspinner Odean Brown's three victims; BJ Watling scored exactly 50, off 92 balls; and Luke Ronchi finished unbeaten on an 81-ball 41, having struck five fours and a six.

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  • Blake on June 7, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    Nikko Chun - I always appreciate and respect the opinions of passionate NZ Cricket fans, there aren't too many of us around these days. But the team I mentioned was not the team I myself suggested should play. It is what I considered to be the most likely team that Hesson and McCullum would field. You selected a team that shifted Williamson, Taylor and McCullum up from positions 3,4 and 5. You obviously don't understand the dynamics and make up of this team. We'll see who eats their words on the day of the first test.

  • Dummy4 on June 5, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Oh and almost forgot... be quiet @22Many! Thank you. FYI - We won the second warm-up versus Jam Sel XI by 123 runs and it was a nightmare pitch on which Neesham, Taylor, Williamson, Watling and Sodhi got runs.... choice stuff!! Nice work Maccaz! Craig bowled well as others have stated, but with his five-for and runs, it is Sodhi for me. Drop Fulton/Rutherford.. play Latham/Sodhi instead.. rest of team same as India test. As stated elsewhere... my team is the team you pick when playing Don Bradman Cricket 14 right? Well, if not using Ryder for Latham... why? It id the best! Don't over-think it.

  • Dummy4 on June 5, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    @BlakeHoulihan.. I disagree with giving our openers the first test to put us behind in the series and ruin the balance of the team. Neither deserved spots in the India series, let alone this one. That is the cold hard reality of it. Although after the second warm-up match, it is obvious we will need a spin option so @kiwicricketnut, you are 100% right: play Neehsam and Ish Sodhi too. In just two matches, it has become obvious that the best (or 'my', lolz) line-up leaves Craig being the one unlucky, but I do not like squandering our strength (lower order batting depth and better all-rounders) to play two spinners when have Williamson/Sodhi. Also @BlakeHoulihan, Wagner must play. He is our work-horse. I feel playing Craig instead of him is unfair when Craig is unproven (totally - I support Otago too and have seen him more). Thus let's play:

    1/ Latham 2/ Williamson 3/ Taylor 4/ McCullum (c) 5/ Anderson 6/ Watling 7/ Neesham 8/ Sodhi 9/ Southee 10/ Wagner 11/ Boult

    That's our best team.

  • Blake on June 1, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    The eleven for the first Test will be: Fulton, Rutherford, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Anderson, Watling, Southee, Sodhi, Craig, Boult

    Wagner is the unlucky one when it comes to spinning wickets, because we can't drop our two top 10 ranked bowlers Boult & Southee. Neesham can also be considered unlucky after his century against India.

    Fulton and Rutherford have the first two tests of the series to make runs. If they don't Latham needs to come in for one of them. Also Ronchi is good enough to be playing Test match cricket for New Zealand, and I'm not suggesting dropping Watling, I just think we should find a place for Ronchi.

  • jared on June 1, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    @ nikko chunn, agree that milne shouldn't tour the windies, those pitches would just have him bending his back for nothing and probably break down again, i like milne maybe im bias being a cd fan and i would love to see him play test cricket one day but in reality his body can't handle it yet, but is still a good prospect, as for neesham in for sohdi, i say play them both, sohdi has to play in these conditions but if he doesn't get it right in probably the best spin bowling conditions he will ever get maybe some more time at first class level is in order and we do look at trying to produce one of the most feared pace attacks in the world at least untill sohdi is up to scratch because there arn't any other spin options really, im really hoping sohdi cements his spot on this tour, a test attack without a spinner just isn't complete in my opinion but you can't carry passengers at test level for too long

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2014, 23:00 GMT

    @Four-Real-Quicks... Milne has not played for months! So, how he could have control 'at the moment' is a bit beyond me. Pace with no movement or swing gets you nowhere in the Windies & for those unaware, the pitches are slow, low and flat there. The NZ team is potentially strong... This warm-up game - a non first-class hit and giggle / time in the middle affair - is not relevant. We do look scratchy and a bit pre-season-like in our form though, which is unsurprising.... These tests will be tough. And while recent form would not indicate it, I still hope they go with Neesham over Sodhi for our batting. Yes, these pitches will turn and all that.... but Ish is no Narine. Getting more runs and our 3 best seamers (Wagner, Southee, Boult) really standing up may be our best way to get a series victory:

    1/ Latham 2/ Rutherford/Fulton 3/ Williamson 4/ Taylor 5/ B. McCullum 6/ Anderson 7/ Watling 8/ Neesham 9/ Southee 10/ Boult 11/ Wagner (or drop #2 batter, shift everyone up & play Craig/Ish)

  • Jordan on May 31, 2014, 22:44 GMT

    You can't read a huge amount into the blackcaps batting score really. Most of these guys haven't seen cricket for a long time AND aren't exactly our best players. Fulton and Rutherford have been in terrible form, Latham still trying to prove himself worthy of a starting spot. And the other 3 places in the top 6 made up of 2 wicket keepers (who were our best batsman) fighting for the same position. AND a promising all-rounder who has been struggling to deliver consistently.

    There are no excuses obviously. I'm disappointed Neesham didn't dig in and put up a bit more fight. I'm happy enough with Watlings form and i'm happy to see Craig do a lot better than I thought he would.

    There are a few positives. Latham was solid enough (imo) to take Fultons starting spot for the 2nd warm up match. Will be interesting to see how we do with williamson, taylor, mccullum, Southee and Anderson added to the fold.

  • paul on May 31, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    good to see McMillian making a instant impact on the batting unit....lol

  • CRIC on May 31, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Pity Adam Milne isn't among the tourists party, I was quite looking forward to watching him bowl. A genuine quick and a fine prospect for NWZ. Reminds me of Ronsford Beaton, the young Guyanese speedster - although Milne has a touch more control at the moment.

  • jared on May 31, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    not very inspiring stuff early on from the kiwis, good on wagner though there are a number of quality seamers banging on the door just itching to take his spot but he's doing just enough to keep that third seamers role, craig bowling well is a boost, maybe he wont just be a passenger on this trip, gutted sohdi isn't bagging wickets he's got alot of class and alot of tricks what he lacks is alot of control, he needs to find that length where the batter is iffy coming foward to him if he can put the ball there 9 times out of 10 spinning it both ways he will get away with the 10th one that goes wrong, problem is he's bowling four gems and two shockers an over undoing his good work and releasing the pressure, he bowls his wrongun a bit much as well it should be a surprise ball not an every other one, he's still the best we have and a genuine wicket taker, he can bowl some unplayable deliveries, this tour, these conditions might just kick his career into gear if he has a good one.

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