Matt Henry showed he’s fighting for a return to the Black Caps fold with four wickets under a Canterbury cap on Sunday.
Despite his fine bowling effort, Wellington will be pleased with their opening day of the Plunket Shield four day match at Wellington’s Basin Reserve, having been sent in by the visitors.
Michael Papps and Hamish Marshall led the way with 76 and 69 respectively, while Scott Borthwick (47) and Tom Blundell (45) would be upset they didn’t make more of fine starts.
Henry has been a man struggling for form over the past month or so, and as a result his place in the national squad has frequently gone the way of Lockie Ferguson. On Sunday he looked in the kind of form to regain his place.
The 25-year-old rolled down 22 overs of accurate, challenging pace bowling against Wellington, ending with figures of 4-54 at the close of play.
His wickets were crucial, too. Run scoring machine Luke Woodcock and Stephen Murdoch fell in quick succession, while Borthwick and Blundell fell through frustration as much as anything as his line and length seldom strayed.
But where Henry fired, Canterbury’s other bowlers clearly didn’t make the most of what they figured would be good bowling conditions.
Reduced to 22-2, something that would have pleased Richie Benaud, Wellington then staged a fightback as Borthwick and Papps steadied the innings.
Papps found form at the end of the Ford Trophy and continued that with a patient three hour stay at the crease, hitting 12 fours and a solitary six in his 76 from 140 balls.
When the opener did fall it was to a nice piece of flight from Todd Astle, guiding his drive straight to the man at short cover.
Marshall continued where he left off, hitting 10 fours and a six on his way to 69 before falling to an ugly caught behind late in the day. Andrew Ellis’ short ball possibly would have been a wide, but Marshall attempted to lift the ball over the slip cordon only to feather it through to Cam Fletcher.
The late wickets of Marshall, Blundell and Jeetan Patel would give Canterbury hope of an early end to Wellington’s innings on Monday morning.
AT A GLANCE:
Day one at the Basin Reserve: Wellington 274-7 (Papps 76, Marshall 69, Borthwick 47, Blundell 45; Henry 4-48) plays Canterbury.
Article Courtesy of Ben Strang – Stuff.