Trent Boult had been itching to get into action since
arriving in South Africa.
The left arm swingman wasn't required for any of the three
Twenty20s, so it wasn't until the 12-a-side warmup match
against a young South African Invitation XI in Paarl that the
Northern Districts bowler marked out his run up anywhere
other than in the nets.
He picked up 2-46 from 15 overs yesterday as the bowlers got
through some work in unhelpful conditions on a flat lifeless
pitch while the Invitation XI ran up 274-6, in reply to New
Zealand's 311-6 on the first day.
In the modern vernacular, it was an exercise in building up
bowlers' loads, with possible test selection in mind. So
Chris Martin and Neil Wagner also completed 15 overs, while
spinners Jeetan Patel and Bruce Martin bowled 19 and 17
The Invitation XI openers Rassie van der Dussen and Matthew
Kleinvelt put on 161, giving an indication of the difficulty
of the bowlers' job.
"It was a testing day for the bowling group but something we
needed," Boult said, acknowledging things will be much
different when the first test starts in a few days.
"It was hard to try and put into play a game plan going into
the first test on a lot bouncier wicket, but the guys were
making the most of what was in front of them.
"It's all about grooving yourself and getting ready as best
The makeup of New Zealand's first test side won't become
clear for at least another day. But most likely two seamers,
one spinner and one batsman will sit it out.
Auckland batsman Colin Munro will get to spend the entire New
Zealand tour in the land of his birth.
Munro is in the test squad, replacing luckless Peter Fulton,
who has pulled out with a tendon injury in his right knee.
Munro played in the T20s, and is in the ODI squad to follow
"Peter played yesterday in an effort to determine whether the
injury would affect his batting," team physiotherapist Paul
"By the end of his innings (of 39) the pain was significant
and it became clear that the injury would prevent him from
playing a full range of shots."
New Zealand will also be hoping Fulton's Canterbury teammate
Dean Brownlie is fully over the stomach bug, which he picked
up late last week.
And lest anyone wonder if South Africa are a touch complacent
ahead of the two-test series, their busy training schedule
leading up to the first test should help dispel that notion.
South Africa have lost a test at home in every one of their
last five series, going back to the visit by lowly Bangladesh
They have been beaten by Australia (in two series), England,
India and Sri Lanka since then. A crumb or two of hope for
New Zealand perhaps, as they prepare for a battle in which
the odds are heavily against them.
- David Leggat of the New Zealand Herald in Cape Town