Kiwis lead at stumps

NEW Zealand are 2-75, increasing their lead over Australia A to 103 at stumps on the third day of their tour match at Allan Border Field.

Victorian James Pattinson and NSW quick Mitchell Starc, who have both been named for Australia’s Test match against New Zealand at the Gabba next Thursday, opened the bowling attack and it didn’t take long to bring a Kiwi down.

Brendon McCullum, the architect who destroyed Australia A’s bowling attack in the first innings with 146 runs from 115 deliveries, misjudged a delivery from Starc and was caught in the air by Nic Maddinson.

Queenslander Ben Cutting, the third quick with a baggy green waiting for him, was introduced into the attack but lasted only an over due to bad light forcing a short intermission in play.

Bowling with pace and aggression, the Bulls spearhead claimed Kane Williamson (14) in a short delivery that like McCullum, was again misjudged.

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor (37) and opener Martin Guptill (14) will start at the crease when play resumes for the fourth and final day of the tour match on Sunday morning.

Earlier in the day it was Tasmanian Ed Cowan (145) and keeper Matt Wade (53) combining in a 150-run fifth-wicket stand, rocketing the home side to 395, just 28 short of New Zealand’s first-innings 423.

All-rounder Doug Bracewell has been the pick of the visitors so far, scoring an unbeaten 73 in the first innings and backing up with a 4-87 with the ball.

Left-hander David Warner, the fourth Australian A player to make their Test debut at the Gabba next Thursday, was the side’s second highest scorer at the crease, with a steady 65 on the second day.

The New Zealand bowlers, though, have struggled to rise to the challenge presented to them by the Australian batsmen.

Kiwi Trent Boult  showed signs of promise but with Brisbane Heat signing Daniel Vettori to return, it’s looking increasingly unlikely the 22 year old has done enough to earn a place in the New Zealand Test side.

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