NZ openers blow solid start

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IOL pic dec3 cricket New Zealand West Indies

Associated Press

New Zealand's Hamish Rutherford bats against the West Indies on the first day of the Test at University Oval in Dunedin on Tuesday.

Dunedin - Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford were both dismissed after making solid starts as New Zealand reached 194 for three at tea on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies at University Oval in Dunedin on Tuesday.

Just when it seemed both openers had been set for big scores, Rutherford (62) was dismissed less than 10 minutes before lunch while Fulton (61) fell with about 15 minutes remaining before tea.

Ross Taylor was on 39 and Brendon McCullum on six at tea.

Fulton and Aaron Redmond had resumed following the lunch break with the hosts well placed at 100 for one but they were subjected to a hostile spell from Tino Best, with the 32-year-old capturing the wicket of Redmond and peppering Taylor with short-pitched deliveries.

Redmond, who had returned to the test side after a five-year absence, was squared up and got a leading edge to the ball that flew to Marlon Samuels in the gully when he was on 20.

The Barbadian proceeded to work over Taylor, with the former captain being struck on his gloves and the ball ballooning over the slips for a streaky boundary.

Shannon Gabriel replaced Best and immediately allowed the pressure the visitors had built to evaporate with two poor deliveries that Fulton dispatched to the boundary.

The right-hander reached his fifth test half-century with a square drive off Sammy for his ninth boundary, but was dismissed when he pushed at a rising delivery from the West Indies captain to be caught in the slips by Kirk Edwards.

Rutherford and Fulton had given the hosts a solid start on a green wicket expected to assist the bowlers though Best and Gabriel failed to exploit the conditions by bowling too short of a length.

Rutherford, who made 171 on debut at the same ground against England in March, recorded his half century with a blistering square cut off Sammy.

His half century came up in 60 balls and included nine boundaries, and just as he looked to go into lunch well set to push on he was well caught by Narsingh Deonarine trying to hit off-spinner Shane Shillingford out of the ground.

Shillingford, who had been under a selection cloud following bio-mechanical analysis of his action when he bowled the doosra, was particularly economical with figures of one for 31 off 15 overs.

The second test is in Wellington from December 11-15, with the final game in Hamilton from December 19-23. - Reuters

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