Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: Rutherford finds form with ton

Hamish Rutherford could be forgiven for experiencing a touch of déjà vu. The New Zealand opener posted 116 not out overnight on the opening day against the England Lions at Leicester, much like the 90 he made for New Zealand A against England in Queenstown before a century on test debut at Dunedin.

Facing an attack which included recent England test bowler Graham Onions and limited overs bowler Chris Woakes, Rutherford steered New Zealand to 184 for three before a rain-interrupted close.

Rutherford's only previous cricket in the United Kingdom is two seasons in Scotland but he quickly settled, bringing his century up in 110 balls. Twice he picked off three boundaries in an over as the bowlers struggled to adjust to a strong wind at Grace Road. The innings included a spray of trademark strokes through the offside.

Rutherford took particular advantage of left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan, hitting him for four sixes, including one to bring up his century. He had a couple of chances: one to Michael Carberry at deep mid-wicket on 85 and another when Onions teetered over the boundary at long-on as he closed on 100.

"It was a gameplan," Rutherford said. "You see the ball tossed up and it's a tough ask for any bowler into that breeze although I did pitching-wedge a couple."

In relation to the conditions he noted it was "probably warmer in Dunedin at the moment, it was fresh out there today" and that the pitch was "a bit green and did a bit early on". When questioned about whether he was worried about keeping his test place with the return of a fit Martin Guptill, Rutherford replied laconically that he was "more worried about hitting the ball".

Peter Fulton struggled again, lbw for seven to Onions. His lbw and bowled in the Derbyshire match indicate he is having difficulty with line but, given his last test performance as just the fourth New Zealander to post two centuries in a test, it would foolish to rule out a return to form on what should be a first test appearance at Lord's.

Ross Taylor made 35 in his first innings this series and Kane Williamson scored seven. Toby Roland-Jones dismissed both on his way to two for 30. Dean Brownlie is not out four.

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