Cricket: Kiwis are stalled by Turner's resistance

Somerset 554 & 146 New Zealand 420 & 22-0
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The Independent Online
ANDY CADDICK'S recall by England got the expected ripple of applause and was followed by the inevitable question from the Somerset faithful: What about Rob Turner?

The Somerset wicketkeeper is in the best batting form of his career, averaging 65 and capable of going in as high as five or six. As a keeper he has performed with the extremes, the thunderbolts of the Dutchman Andre van Troost and the spinning hand grenades of Mushtaq Ahmed. To keep well to either is a distinction, to keep to both in the same match as Turner has done is exemplary.

In this match he scored 59 off 55 balls in the first innings, batting at No 4; in the second he entered at No 7, when the innings was foundering at 88 for 5 and ensured that the tail functioned, finishing 32 not out. New Zealand were sufficiently impressed to be asking questions about him.

After two days of exercising this was when the New Zealanders decided that the time had come to play: they started still needing 175, with six wickets standing, to avoid the humiliation of a follow on, something they achieved on the stroke of lunch after the loss of a further four wickets.

Craig McMillan reached 121 off 132 balls (three sixes and 18 fours) and Adam Parore 80 off 99. Both looked in good nick for Thursday but neither can expect as benign a surface as this for the rest of the tour.

With Greg Kennis, who scored 175 in Somerset's first knock, suffering a back strain, the county's revised order was soon in dire trouble as the tourists' seam battery this time bowled for keeps. At 29-4 it seemed possible that Somerset would register their highest and lowest scores against touring teams in the same fixture but Mike Burns, Jason Kerr and then Turner ensured that New Zealand would have a proper target, 259 with a day to go.