Ominous Signs for New Zealand

New Zealand have started their tour of South Africa on the back foot, conceding 355 runs in 90 overs of cricket, as the Rest of South Africa dominated the first day of the tour match at Benoni.

Centuries to discarded Test batsman Neil McKenzie and Jean-Paul Duminy were the highlights of the days play. They have put on 248 for the fourth wicket and will both still be at the crease when play resumes tomorrow morning.

Ironically McKenzie played the last of his 41 Tests against New Zealand in 2004 before being dropped. He hasn’t played a Test match in over two years, but his century today will serve as a nice reminder to the South African selectors that the 30 year old is still an option to look at.

For the New Zealanders there was one positive to come out of a poor start to the tour – Jacob Oram bowled 15 overs, and was tidy. He went for just three per over and was by far the pick of the bowlers.

Shane Bond struggled, going at five runs per over off his ten overs. Chris Martin, Dan Vettori and James Franklin were also all expensive as the bowlers struggled to adapt to the conditions.

New Zealand will not be too worried at this stage. They have travelled a long way, and the first day of a tour match is an opportunity to slowly get back into the rhythm of things.

They will however, be hoping to improve day by day in this match, in preparation for the first Test which starts in a week’s time.

Rest of South Africa 355/3
Neil McKenzie 125* Jean-Paul Duminy 125*, Justin Ontong 61
Shane Bond 1-51, James Franklin 1-71

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