New Zealand collapse in final warm-up match before England Test series

By Sports Desk May 28, 2022

New Zealand are on the ropes after a top-order collapse handed the County Select XI the initiative in the Blackcaps' final warm-up match before the first Test against England.

ICC World Test Championship-winning New Zealand posted 362 in their first innings at Chelmsford before declaring, with the County Select XI managing 247 in response – a deficit of 115.

However, New Zealand were caught cold on Saturday as Jamie Porter (5-31) starred to reduce the visitors to 19-6, with Kane Williamson, Will Young and Tom Blundell all dismissed for nought.

Fellow top-order batters Tom Latham (four) and Devon Conway (five) struggled in similar fashion, before the lower order of Tim Southee (34), Neil Wagner (36) and Kyle Jamieson (36) dragged New Zealand to 148 all out.

The in-form Ben Compton, who is the leading run-scorer in the County Championship this season with 864 in six games for Kent, finished unbeaten on 56 from 145 balls as the County Select XI made a bright start to their chase of 264.

Former England opener Dom Sibley also made 34 before falling to Ajaz Patel (1-12), leaving Compton and Tom Haines (12 not out) at the crease, with the Country Select XI requiring a further 152 for victory on the fourth and final day.

New Zealand will then have three days' rest before opening their three-Test series against England at Lord's on Thursday, with new Test coach Brendon McCullum set to face his home country in his first game in charge.

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