England’s Harry Brook hits Auckland spinner for five sixes in one over as runs flow against New Zealand XI
Harry Brook hit Auckland spinner Adi Ashok for five successive sixes in one over as England continued to score rapidly in the first day of their warm-up match against the New Zealand XI in Hamilton.
Two of Brook’s nine sixes in the second session finished outside Seddon Park, on Tristram Street in rush hour, as England’s batters went on the attack against the pink ball on Wednesday, scoring 206 runs in 26 overs in the second session.
Brook fell just short of his century – caught at third man by Quinn Sunde off Otago seamer Jarrod McKay – and was out for 97 off 71 balls, upstaging Joe Root’s 50 off 45 balls in the first session.
The tourists, coached by former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum, batted on the first day of the two-day fixture and scored at more than seven runs an over, reaching 375-5 after 52 overs at the dinner break.
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Their positive, aggressive batting, dubbed “Bazball”, has been a feature of their success since McCullum became test coach last year, with nine wins from 10 tests.
Brook was in a 50-run partnership with Dan Lawrence in which he scored 47, although Lawrence and Ben Foakes maintained the flow of runs, reaching 100 together off 71 balls.
Lawrence reached his 50 off 37 balls and was unbeaten on 85 off 52 at dinner, with Foakes on 33 off 38 balls.
Root departed for 77 off 69 balls after tea, after hitting an extravagant reverse scoop for six with the most outrageous shot of the day to reach 50, when Ashok took a prized wicket.
There was some fortune after his leg side delivery was nicked and looped kindly into wicketkeeper Curtis Heaphy’s hands.
However, Ashok was soon struggling as Brook teed off, smashing the 20-year-old for five massive sixes in his fourth over, when the first ball was a dot.
Brook was probably going to retire once he reached his century, but he missed out after walloping seven fours and nine sixes in an exhibition of power-hitting.
Ashok (1-82 from nine overs) wasn’t the only bowler with ugly figures at dinner. Canterbury spinner Theo van Woerkom (0-78 from eight) and Auckland seamer Sean Solia (0-60 from seven) were targeted by England’s batters, too.
Kyle Jamieson, who could make his long-awaited test comeback for the Black Caps next week at Mount Maunganui, fired down six overs in the first session and looked in good form, dismissing England opener Ben Duckett for 32 via the slips.
The big fast bowler struggled in his second spell after tea, however, going for 27 runs from his four overs after not playing international cricket for eight months because of a back injury.
England’s batters wasted no time in finding Seddon Park’s short boundaries, reaching 169-3 from 26 overs at tea.
Jamieson went for 24 from his first six-over spell and troubled English openers Zak Crawley and Duckett, who shared 45 for the first wicket.
At tea, Root was unbeaten on 58 off 47 balls with Brook, then on 29, who sent van Woerkom for two sixes down the ground. His first three overs went for 33 runs.
Earlier, Crawley was out for 17 – bowled after a loose drive in McKay’s opening over – before Ollie Pope fell cheaply for 26 to Davey.
Pope was stand-in skipper instead of Ben Stokes, who was watching from the boundary, relaxed before the first of two tests against the Black Caps starts with the pink ball in Mount Maunganui next Thursday.
Stokes was not listed to bat on Wednesday.