Quick-fire Hamish Rutherford tames England Lions

New Zealand 184-3 v England Lions

Grace Road

The warm-up act is looking exceedingly comfortable. New Zealand can never expect star billing this season when anything short of a quadruple century or a 20-wicket haul is likely to be dismissed as utterly inconsequential.

But as their left-handed opening batsman, Hamish Rutherford, demonstrated they will occupy their time on the stage with aplomb. They are not here to whistle Dixie. The first tourists of the summer – Australia are apparently next – rattled along at four runs an over against England Lions, finishing a curtailed day on 184 for 3.

The bulk of the runs and the entertainment were supplied by Rutherford, who scored a hundred on his Test debut in February and went along jauntily from the start. He reached his fifty from 55 balls, his 100 from 110, and by the time rain curtailed proceedings a little before tea, he was on 116.

There were 16 fours and four sixes, all of the latter off Simon Kerrigan, the Lancashire left-arm spinner. Kerrigan was unfortunate. Bowling into the wind – a tough call that by captain Joe Root – which crucially meant that Rutherford was hitting with it, he had the batsman dropped on 85.

The ball might have held up as it does when the gusts are strong but Michael Carberry fluffed the steepling opportunity at deep mid-wicket. Then the first of three sixes in an over appeared to have been caught by Graham Onions at long on but a check with what passed for a crowd ascertained that he had carried it across the line.

Rutherford was delighted but slightly wary about his form. "I thought about the Test next week. It doesn't really matter about scoring runs in the warm-up games, it matters in the Test matches," he said. "It was quite hard early on and spiced up again before lunch and it's probably colder than Dunedin is at the moment."

It remains difficult to be sure what to make of these matches. The selectors and the administrators have come to set great store by them as important markers of a player's progress to the international arena.

Indeed, the selectors seem to take their mantra of continuity, continuity, continuity to extremes. Of the Lions side on duty here, three played against the New Zealanders of 2008 vintage: Michael Carberry, Ravi Bopara and Graham Onions. All doubtless are still featuring in discussions, but there has to come a time when players in the second team will not advance to greater glories.

There seems little fondness for these contests among spectators. Doubtless the bleak day had a bearing, but considering that on show were England's second finest and New Zealand's Test team it was a disappointing turn-out. It usually is.

Onions bowled a proficient spell at the start of the day and was rightly rewarded with the wicket of Peter Fulton who walked across his stumps. Toby Roland-Jones took a wicket with his second ball for the Lions at home, a long hop which Kane Williamson swatted to mid-wicket, and then removed a diligent Ross Taylor with something much more deserving.

 



Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'