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Cricket Buzz: Australia-New Zealand likely to play first day-night Test in 2015

Last updated on: June 30, 2014 14:22 IST

Cricket Buzz: Aus-NZ likely to play first day-night Test in 2015



Australia and New Zealand have targeted playing a first Test match under lights in November, 2015, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Monday.

CA, who have been discussing playing Tests under lights for at least five years, scheduled a number of first-class matches in the domestic Sheffield Shield at night using pink balls and black sightscreens earlier this year and hopes to have the concept perfected in time for New Zealand's tour next year.

The venue is yet to be fixed for the day-night Test.

CA chief executive James Sutherland, however, added the traditional Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and Sydney's New Year's Test would not be touched and both still played during the day.

"The summer holiday period in Australia really lends itself to Test cricket, but at other times of the year it can be difficult for fans to attend or watch Test matches, be it here or in other parts of the world," Sutherland said in a statement.

"That's really at the heart of the issue. The challenge is to try to make Test cricket more accessible for fans."

Day-night Tests offer the chance of more broadcast dollars derived from bigger television audiences at home and abroad.

Sutherland met with his New Zealand counterpart David White in Melbourne during the annual ICC conference.

"We're scheduling a trial fixture in the upcoming season so we can examine more closely issues such as dew, and its affect on the condition of the ball," White said.

"Ensuring the ball behaves as closely as possible to the red ball is vital for the success of this initiative."

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Image: BCCI president N Srinivasan, right, with Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards
Photographs: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images


Williamson ton puts NZ in control of deciding Test

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Kane Williamson registered his seventh test century to put New Zealand in control of the third and deciding Test against West Indies at the end of a rain-affected fourth day in Barbados on Sunday.

Williamson made an unbeaten 161, his highest Test score, after more than three hours of play had been lost.

"Every time you get the chance to play a knock that puts the team in a good position is always one you remember," he said after New Zealand finished on 331 for seven, a lead of 307 runs.

"It's always nice to get a big score, it doesn't always happen but that what's I'd like to do more often." Off-spinner Mark Craig was also four not out at the close.

The highest successful fourth-innings total at Bridgetown is 311, a score the hosts achieved against Australia in 1999, although West Indies hit 387 in a losing cause against the same opponents in 2008.

The rain forced the players off after lunch and while they managed to return after tea for five overs the bad weather intervened again and umpires Richard Illingworth and Ian Gould abandoned play with 14 overs remaining.

Williamson has anchored New Zealand's batting throughout the series, scoring a century in the first Test and a half-century in the second.

He has amassed 413 runs at an average of 82.60 and his partnerships with all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and wicketkeeper BJ Watling on Sunday could prove instrumental if the visitors secure victory on the fifth and final day.

Neesham, who top-scored with 78 in New Zealand's first innings 293, notched his second successive half-century with an attacking 51 from 67 balls that included four sixes and three fours as he shared a stand of 91 with Williamson.

The 23-year-old Williamson then combined with Watling (29) for a 79-run stand.

The three-match series is locked at 1-1 after New Zealand won the first Test in Jamaica and the hosts took the second in Trinidad.

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Image: Kane Williamson
Photographs: Getty Images

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Trott returns to first-class game with Warwickshire

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England batsman Jonathan Trott made another return to first-class cricket on Sunday when he played for Warwickshire on the opening day of their county championship match against Nottinghamshire in Birmingham.

-Trott's Ashes exit bares truth about cricketers' mental health

The 33-year-old flew home from England's Ashes tour of Australia in November because of a stress-related illness and, after playing two first-class games for his county at the start of this season, he took another break.

Trott has been playing for Warwickshire's Second XI and earlier this month turned out for the Birmingham Bears in a Twenty20 match.

The South African-born Trott, who has hit nine centuries for England in 49 Tests, took one for 27 with his gentle part-time seamers as Nottinghamshire scored 397 for seven at Edgbaston.

Image: Jonathan Trott
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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