Cricket: Blackcaps bowlers find form in warm-up fixture against Sussex, pressing claims for first test spots

Jacob Duffy bowls against Sussex.
Jacob Duffy bowls against Sussex. Photo credit: Image - Twitter

The Blackcaps' second-string bowlers have made the most of their chance in New Zealand's first warm-up match on their tour of England, bowling out county championship side Sussex at Hove.

After declaring their first innings at 342/3 on day two of the four-day fixture, the Blackcaps bowled Sussex out for 247 in reply on day three, taking a lead of 95 runs into their second innings.

New Zealand's opening pair of Tom Latham (20 not out) and Will Young (20 not out) both batted through until the close of play without loss taking a 135-run lead into the final day at 40/0.

Both Latham and Young also made half-centuries in New Zealand's first innings, with 65 not out and 55 not out respectively. Michael Bracewell (51 not out) and Tom Blundell (51 not out) also scored runs before they too retired.

In preparation for the first test, starting at Lord's on June 2, the bowlers took an even share of the wickets, with Jacob Duffy (2/17) finishing as the standout.

Colin de Grandhomme (2/26), Matt Henry (2/36) and Ajaz Patel (2/84) all chipped in with two wickets apiece, while spinners Michael Bracewell (1/28) and Rachin Ravindra (1/7) also struck.

Ali Orr finished as the best on display for Sussex with 59 runs from 122 balls, before he was trapped leg before wicket by Henry, while England seamer Ollie Robinson hit a quickfire 36 from 23 before he was caught by Duffy off Bracewell.

The Blackcaps' seamers in particular made the most of their chance to impress for selection, with the trio of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner all missing the first warm-up fixture.

Southee and Boult are both on Indian Premier League (IPL) duty, while Wagner will arrive in England late on paternity leave.

Of New Zealand's first choice specialist seamers, only Kyle Jamieson is playing against Sussex, but went wicketless across his 14 overs on day three.

Boult's absence in particular gives one of the second-string bowlers a chance to push for inclusion in that first test against England at Lord's with his Rajasthan Royals side playing in the IPL finals.

Should the Royals reach the IPL's final on May 30, he would arrive in England just days before the first test, with no red ball match practice.

The final day of the first warm-up match will be played on Monday (NZ time), before the Blackcaps' second hitout against a county cricket XI, played from May 26-29 at Chelmsford.