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New Zealand on top,despite James Anderson fightback

Black Caps still opened up a big lead thanks to a splendid 171 on debut from Hamish Rutherford.

James Anderson led an England fightback in the first Test against New Zealand today but the Black Caps still opened up a big lead thanks to a splendid 171 on debut from Hamish Rutherford.

The Black Caps were 385 for seven at tea on the third day at University Oval,with skipper Brendon McCullum unbeaten on 35 and Bruce Martin nine not out,giving them a first innings lead of 218.

Rutherford’s knock,the seventh highest debut in Test history,put New Zealand firmly in control of the match,although there was a flurry of wickets after Anderson took the new ball and dismissed him shortly after lunch.

After 340 minutes t he crease,the 23-year-old lasted only one delivery against the new ball,mistiming his response and popping the ball up to Chris Woakes as England found some much- needed aggression after failing with the bat.

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Anderson,who dismissed Peter Fulton for 55 in the morning session,almost had incoming batsman Dean Brownlie

with a nick to the slips in the same over,only for Joe Root to spill an easy catch.

Jonathan Trott made no mistake when Ross Taylor (31) edged a similar delivery to second slip and the right-arm paceman snared his fourth after Browlie chopped the ball onto his stumps for 27. BJ Watling departed without bothering the scorers after shouldering arms to a Stuart Broad ball which clipped his pads then clattered into the stumps to leave New Zealand on 326 for six

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McCullum,who relinquished his opening spot to come in down the order,then went on the attack with Tim Southee,notching a 44-run partnership in 38 balls to extend the lead before Southee departed on 25.

But it was Rutherford who set up the innings,exceeding England’s first innings total of 167 single-handedly after a 158-run opening partnership with Fulton.

The 23-year-old,the son of former Black Caps skipper Ken,became only the ninth New Zealand batsman to score a century on debut, reaching the milestone with a drive through the covers for four.

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He scored 22 fours and three sixes in his first Test innings,with his knock second only to Mathew Sinclair’s 214 on debut against West Indies at Wellington in 1999 in NewZealand cricket history.

First published on: 08-03-2013 at 09:40 IST
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