11 May 2015

NZ XI on verge of victory

7:25 am on 11 May 2015

The New Zealand XI cricketers need four wickets on the final day to win their four-day warm-up match against Somerset in England.

The Black Caps spinner Mark Craig in action.

The Black Caps spinner Mark Craig in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The hosts are 142 for 6 at stumps on day three, trailing New Zealand by 202 runs with four wickets remaining.

The 23-year-old all-rounder Mitchell Santner came up four runs short of a century in New Zealand's second innings, top scoring with 94 runs as the tourists were bowled out for 310.

"I was pretty happy with the way I played but obviously pretty disappointed to not get 100," Santner said afterwards.

Santner said the Somerset attack bowled well this morning and the pitch was "still doing a bit".

"I was nervous. There are always going to be nerves in your first game but they eased once I got a few shots away. It was a good day and hopefully there are a few more games for New Zealand to come for me."

Captain BJ Watling also provided some spark, scoring 46.

Ben Wheeler, the hero with the ball in the first innings, provided some chaos with the bat at the tail of the innings.

When Watling departed, the 23-year-old flicked the switch.

He hit 33 runs from only 16 balls, including two towering sixes, to finish with a flourish.

In reply and chasing 344 runs for victory Somerset lost regular wickets and will face a tough time surviving the final day.

The former Black Caps seamer Doug Bracewell and current Black Caps test spinner Mark Craig took two wickets each for the New Zealand XI.

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