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Tom Latham
World Test Championship

Patient Kiwis impress during England tour match

New Zealand news

Hit For Six!

New Zealand were pleased to finally enjoy some time in the middle after a series of false starts hampered the start of their tour of England.

The Black Caps enjoyed some valuable batting practice against County side Sussex on Saturday ahead of the first Test against England starting at Lord's on June 2.

Four New Zealand batters registered a half-century at The 1st Central County Ground, with opener Tom Latham leading the way retiring not out after making an unbeaten 65 against a Sussex bowling line-up that included England quick Ollie Robinson.

Will Young (55), Michael Bracewell (51) and Tom Blundell (51) also registered unbeaten fifties as the Black Caps moved to 342/3 at the end of the day's play.

It came after heavy rain ensured there was no play possible on the opening day of the four-day contest and New Zealand batting coach Luke Ronchi was pleased his batters finally got some time to get used to the English conditions.

"For our guys to come from home to here to face that and get through those sort of challenges is what we are after," Ronchi told reporters after play.

"It was nice to bat through the day and for a few guys to get some runs and get themselves going for the trip."

New Zealand will play three Tests against England next month, with valuable World Test Championship points up for grabs for both sides.

Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson is still in New Zealand ahead of the birth of his second child, while a trio of players are also on the sidelines after they tested positive to Covid-19 on the eve of the Sussex clash.

Henry Nicholls, Blair Tickner and Shane Jurgensen are currently in isolation until Wednesday, but head coach Gary Stead is hopeful they will be available for the tour match against a select county XI at the County Ground in Chelmsford beginning on Thursday.

"They are all feeling OK, but unfortunately they have all been struck down with the virus," Stead said.

"I guess all we try and do is try and minimise and mitigate the risk that is out there.

"We have protocols in place that we have been following, but I guess the nature of the virus is that it is highly contagious and it can be caught (easily)."

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Cameron Fletcher, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Will Young

New Zealand Test schedule:
First Test: Lord's - June 2-6
Second Test: Trent Bridge - June 10-14
Third Test: Headingley - June 23-27


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