Day 1: Marshall puts NZ on top

Hamish Marshall’s unbeaten maiden century has given New Zealand the upper hand after the first day’s play against Australia in Christchurch. The home side finished the day on 3/265 after the Australian attack posed little threat on a placid Jade Stadium pitch.

The Australian selectors opted for Micheal Kasprowicz’s consistency over Brett Lee’s pace and fire. Ricky Ponting defended the selectors decision to hand Lee the drinks, saying, “It was a very tough decision to leave Brett out after the way he’s bowled, but the guys who are there have done well over a long period,”

After winning the toss, Ponting somewhat surprisingly sent the Kiwis in. Debutant Craig Cumming opened the innings with Stephen Fleming and despite their shaky start, the pair managed to survive the new ball. However, after never looking completely comfortable, Stephen Fleming was adjudged LBW by umpire David Shepard after missing an attempted sweep off to Warne, leaving the score on 1/56.

Marshall was promoted up the order to number 3 after his good form in the ODI series. He repaid his captains faith as he began settling down for a long stay at the crease.

At the other end, Cumming was playing a patient innings, scoring the majority of his runs from well-timed pull shots. However, his overuse of the shot eventually lead to his demise while on 74, as he pulled Kasprowicz straight to Jason Gillespie at midwicket.

Lou Vincent’s comeback to Test cricket after over a year away began solidly, before he fell LBW to Micheal Clarke for 27.

However, the day belonged completely to Marshall, who, despite a shaky stay in the 90’s, looked the part, smashing 14 fours and a six on his way to be 103 not out at stumps. Nathan Astle also proved hard to dislodge ending the day not out on 29.

The Aussies will be keen to fight back on day 2 after a slow start to the series, while the home side, who still have many wickets in hand, will be looking to consolidate their lead with diligent play.

Score Summary: Stumps, Day 1

New Zealand 3/265 (Marshall 103*, Cumming 74, Warne 1/60)

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