Stalemate sees New Zealand A’ce Aussies

A DRAW in the second match between New Zealand and Australia has seen the Kiwis take out the ‘A’ series 1-0 on home turf. After the hosts were victorious by three wickets in game one, the second encounter ended in a stalemate as Australia set a target of 374 on the final day.

New Zealand worked its way to 3-174 in 42 overs, falling 200 runs short of the formidable total, but remaining well clear of a loss with seven wickets in hand at Bert Sutcliffe Oval. Mitchell Swepson (3-85) claimed all three Kiwi wickets on day four.

The leggie ended up with the equal-most wickets for the series, taking nine to match the haul of New Zealand A’s Scott Kuggeleijn. Though, Queensland teammate Matthew Renshaw was arguably most impressive from an Australian perspective, notching 332 runs for the series – including two centuries.

Almost all of Renshaw’s game two runs came in the second innings, as his opening knock of 140 helped put Australia A in a winning position. It came after a rare failure in his first dig, which yielded just two runs. Still, he looked far removed from the form which saw him struggle in Australia’s Test tour of India.

Captain Aaron Hardie (115) steered Australia A’s first innings after the tourists were sent in to bat, with Caleb Jewell (66) the only other Aussie to pass 50. Logan van Beek (4-72), who took the most wickets for the match, spearheaded the hosts’ bowling effort.

In reply, New Zealand A got mightily close in its effort of 246 as Sean Solia notched 60. Jordan Buckingham, who has enjoyed a steep rise up the ranks of late, ripped through the Kiwis with 6-58 – dismissing all of the top six batters.

It was then Renshaw’s time to shine with a bounce-back century as Australia A got ahead of the game, but fell well short of claiming the 10 day four wickets required for victory. Henry Cooper (61) and Robert O’Donnell (44) finished unbeaten in New Zealand A’s incomplete second batting innings.

The Australia A tour of New Zealand acted as a warm up for Ashes hopefuls without County contracts, ahead of the overseas Test series in June-July. With similar conditions and the Dukes ball in use, an insight into who may be ready for England was ultimately achieved.

Before its five-match showdown for the famous urn against England, Australia will also compete in the World Test Championship final against India, on June 7-11 at London’s The Oval. There are already plenty of squad candidates impressing on English soil in the Country championship.

Matt Renshaw starred for Australia A with the bat | Image Credit: Photosport NZ


RESULT: New Zealand A (246 & 3-174) drew w/ Australia A (253 & 8d-366)

1st Innings: Australia A – 253 (68.3)
Aaron Hardie 115 (160), Caleb Jewell 66 (93), Teague Wyllie 37 (87)
Logan van Been 4-72 (21), Scott Kuggeleijn 3-53 (17), Will O’Rourke 2-55 (13.3)

2nd Innings: New Zealand A – 246 (70.3)
Sean Solia 60 (107), Tom Bruce 44 (93), Mitchell Hay 43 (55)
Jordan Buckingham 6-58 (19), Matthew Renshaw 2-32 (10), Mitchell Swepson 2-61 (20.3)

Australia A led by 7 runs.

3rd Innings: Australia A – 8d-366 (106)
Matthew Renshaw 140 (261), Tim Ward 63 (120), Aaron Hardie 33 (50)
Logan van Beek 3-61 (25), Will O’Rourke 2-81 (18), Scott Kuggeleijn 1-62 (20)

Australia A led by 373 runs.

4th Innings: New Zealand A – 3-174 (42)
Henry Cooper 61* (118), Robert O’Donnell 44* (57), Tom Bruce 26 (15)
Mitchell Swepson 3-85 (18), Matthew Renshaw 0-8 (4), Jordan Buckingham 0-21 (9)

Match drawn.


RESULT: New Zealand A win 1-0

Game 1: New Zealand A (224 & 7-365) def. Australia A (6-370 & 2d-218) by 3 wickets
Game 2: New Zealand A (246 & 3-174) drew w/ Australia A (253 & 8d-366)

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