Rizwan’s spectacular catch eclipses New Zealand’s batting display
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After the first day was abandoned by the match umpires due to heavy rain, New Zealand won the toss and batted all day on Saturday in the sunshine at The 1st Central County Ground in Hove against the English side Sussex. But the highlight of the day was a spectacular catch by Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan.
Rizwan caught the ball running backwards at mid-off to dismiss New Zealand’s left-hand batter Hamish Rutherford who had scored 31.
The visitors are preparing for a three-match Test series against England in June and made the most of fantastic batting conditions to get some much-needed time in the middle.
Sussex worked hard all day with the ball, with Ollie Robinson conceding just 42 from his 18 overs. Robinson can feel unlucky not to have picked up any wickets, particularly off a sharp opening spell that saw him just beating the edge of both New Zealand openers on two occasions.
He also had credible lbw appeals dismissed by the umpires as he looked in good nick once again bowling down the hill from the Cromwell Road end.
New Zealand captain Tom Latham opened the batting alongside Will Young, with Latham making 65 before retiring not out, and Young 55. Hamish Rutherford came in at number 3, making 31 before being caught out in spectacular fashion by sub-fielder Mohammad Rizwan off the bowling of Delray Rawlins.
Michael Bracewell and Tom Blundell were the next to retire not-out, both finishing their innings on 51.
Rawlins’ persistence paid off again in the final session of the day, taking the wicket of Cam Fletcher finishing with figures of 2-63.
With the day drawing to a close Sussex took the new ball and were soon rewarded as Sean Hunt dismissed Colin de Grandhomme, caught behind by Oli Carter.
Tom Latham, Will Young, Michael Bracewell and Tom Blundell all reached the landmark before retiring in order to let their team-mates have time in the middle after Friday's opening day of this four-day game was abandoned without a ball bowled due to a wet outfield.
Before them three members of New Zealand's squad -- batsman Henry Nicholls, seamer Blair Tickner and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen tested positive for Covid-19.
The trio are now undergoing five days of isolation.
"To get out there, on a nice surface, for all the guys to get a good hit and some time under their belts is always nice," Luke Ronchi, New Zealand's batting coach, told reporters.
Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson, left out of England's squad for the first two Tests of a three-match series on fitness grounds, get through 18 overs.
"It's those challenges you want to face when you first arrive," said Ronchi.
"For our guys to come from home to here, to face that and get through that challenge is what we're after," he added.
New Zealand are also currently missing captain Kane Williamson, who is at home awaiting the birth of his second child, and the Indian Premier League contingent Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Daryl Mitchell.
The tourists have another warm-up match, in Chelmsford next week, before the first Test against England at Lord's starting on June 2.