Latham, Williamson propel New Zealand to 324/7 vs Mumbai

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) Riding on half centuries from skipper Kane Williamson (50 not out) and opener Tom Latham (55), New Zealand declared their first innings at 324/7 as most of the other batsmen got decent starts on the opening day of the three-day practice game against Ranji Trophy champions Mumbai here on Friday.

In reply, Mumbai reached 29/1 after batting for 13 overs when stumps were drawn for the day.

New Zealand’s main headache was again the form of swashbuckling opening batsman Martin Guptill, whose poor run with the willow continued after the visitors were sent in to bat on a grassy Ferozeshah Kotla wicket.

The 29-year-old seemed to be in a hurry after scoring a brisk 19-ball 15 with a four and a six before giving a simple catch to stumper Aditya Tare off pacer Balwinder Sandhu.

Guptill’s departure brought in Williamson and Latham together as the right-left combo stitched a 85-run stand for the second wicket, with both reaching their respective half centuries before Sandhu separated them with Williamson’s scalp.

While Latham’s 55 came off 97 deliveries, including 10 fours and a six, Williamson consumed just 56 balls with six hits to the fence and two over it.

After getting to his half century, Latham also retired making way for veteran Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls to get some match practice.

Taylor looked his usual self hitting a 57-ball 41 with five fours and two sixes before being dismissed by left-arm spinner Vijay Gohil. Nicholls also got a start with a 49-ball 29 before off-spinner Siddhesh Lad sent him back.

Stumper Bradley Watling (21), Michael Santner (45), Mark Craig (33 not out) and Ish Sohi (29) then gained some valuable batting practice in the middle as the visitors declared their innings at 324/7 and allowed their bowlers to test the conditions towards the fag end of the day.

Mumbai used as many as nine bowlers with Sandhu emerging the most successful with two wickets while Vishal Dabholkar, Gohil and Lad chipped in with one wicket apiece.

In reply, Mumbai got off to a poor start losing opener Jay Bista for a duck before Kaustubh Pawar (5 not out) and Armaan Jaffer (24 not out) saw the day off to reach 29/1 at stumps.

–IANS

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