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Strong start at Saxton for New Zealand A

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Moody skies greeted New Zealand A and West Indies A as they arrived at Nelson’s Saxton Oval for the final first-class "A" fixture for the West Indies in New Zealand.

Familiar with local conditions at Saxton Oval, home captain Doug Bracewell elected to bat after a delayed start on the heavily overcast morning - and sure enough, the sun popped out before lunch as conditions improved, albeit on a windy afternoon.

Nineteen-year-old Jayden Seales made his first-class debut for the West Indies and came close to picking up a quick debut wicket in the second over when Tim Seifert survived an early chance, dropped behind the stumps. Seales made the first breakthrough regardless with BLACKCAP Glenn Phillips caught at point at 31/1 in the 10th.

Mark Chapman played the strokemaker to Seifert’s anchorman, the latter going on to reach his half century off 133 balls. A breezy Chapman had come close to getting there first, but a short second spell from Keemo Paul delivered near-instant rewards with Chapman bowled on 45 and the partnership broken on 70.

Doug Bracewell’s first cousin Michael Bracewell joined Seifert and was merciless on anything loose. Seifert batted watchfully for more than two and a half hours before he eventually departed for 60 in the middle session, New Zealand A going to tea at 160 for three.

In the last session, Jimmy Neesham went down the track to Fabian Allen (2-39) only to loft a catch to the deep and depart for just 10. It was Allen’s second wicket, but the afternoon ended badly for the left-arm spinner who injured himself whilst fielding a delivery off his own bowling.

Allen was unable to complete the 78th over, but West Indies A captain Nicholas Pooran had plenty of options - having utilised nine bowlers across the afternoon.

By stumps, Michael Bracewell was unbeaten on 93- amid an unbroken 77-run stand for the fifth wicket with Rachin Ravindra (30-). New Zealand A will begin day two on 264 for four.

Bracewell has eight first-class centuries in Plunket Shield cricket and had taken a career best of 45 from three previous first-class matches for New Zealand A into today.

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