Tour match ends in a draw

NEW Zealand’s tour match with Australia A has ended in a draw but the four-day clash at Allan Border Field proved a great spectacle for all cricket fans in attendance.

The Kiwis ended at 6-487 in their second innings, with Dean Brownlie (53 not out) and Doug Bracewell (13 not out) seeing the visitors through.

Despite national pride on the line, the four-day series was never going to be about the end result.

It was an audition for the Gabba Test for the Australians and four of them – David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Ben Cutting and James Pattinson – were selected for next week’s clash with New Zealand.

It was also a chance for the Kiwis to strut their stuff and prove they can compete across the two Test series and in it was something of a success for the tourists as three of their best swingers at the crease racked up the runs, playing themselves into devastating form.

Jesse Ryder tied the first-class record with 16 sixes on the final day which accumulated 175 from 137. He smashed them on the roof, into the car park and deep into the practice fields.

Captain Ross Taylor was overshadowed on the scoreboard but his 138 was a show of class and immaculate shot-selection, which shouldn’t go unnoticed.

And let’s not dare dismiss Brendon McCullum’s masterclass on the first day, when he hit 146 from 115 deliveries, single-handedly dismantling the Australian bowling attack.

David Warner had an efficient 65 opening for Australia, which was enough to cement a place in the Test squad named on Saturday.

His left-handed opening partner pushed his case too. Head of selection John Inverarity said it was a simple matter of preferring Warner over Ed Cowan, but there was alot to like about the Tasmanian.

His 145 exhibited all of the traits needed to succeed at the international level and he will get his chance much sooner rather than later. He was aggressive and tough with the bat to reach 60 at the end of the second day and then on the third morning he was all about explicit timing and and elegant stroke-making.

Young Kiwi Doug Bracewell impressed for the visitors, taking 4-88 with the ball to follow up with a quick 73 not out in the first batting innings.

There was aggression with both bat and ball, with plenty of action to follow when the two nations clash again at the Gabba next Thursday.

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