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Why New Zealand pulled out of tour match on Day 2 in Sydney

October 30, 2015 10:23 IST
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IMAGE: A close-up of the pitch on Day 2 of the tour match between the Cricket Australia XI and New Zealand at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, on October 30, 2015. Photograph: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Ryan Carters and Aaron Finch smashed 503 runs to set an Australian record opening partnership in first class cricket on Friday before the Sydney tour match against New Zealand was abandoned on day two due to the poor quality of the pitch.

Explosive one-day international specialist Finch piled on an unbeaten 288, blasting seven sixes and 24 fours for the Cricket Australia XI, while Carters struck a more circumspect 209 on a crumbling wicket at Blacktown International Sports Park.

The stand easily eclipsed the previous Australian record of 456 set by openers Ernie Mayne and Bill Ponsford for Victoria state in 1923-24.

The world record opening stand of 561 was set by Pakistani pair Waheed Mirza and Mansoor Akhtar in a domestic match in 1976-77.

The Australian partnership was eventually broken late on Friday morning when Carters slashed at the part-time medium pace of Tom Latham, sending a nick to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

That brought an early lunch, but New Zealand's batsmen failed to take the field after the break to continue a match that was originally intended to last four days.

IMAGE: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum speaks to match officals. Photograph: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Cricket Australia said the match had been called off due to the "unfit" wicket.

“The decision has been agreed between the two teams to abandon the match due to the wicket’s deteriorating surface becoming unfit for first class cricket," CA's head of cricket operations Sean Cary said in a statement.

“Preparation of the wicket was compromised by poor weather conditions in Sydney early this week.

“In response, we’re working with New Zealand Cricket to provide alternative preparation for the team ahead of next week’s first test.”

New Zealand media reported that touring captain Brendon McCullum had refused to have his batsmen play out of safety concerns, with the pitch having developed crater-like impressions at both ends by the close of day one.

New Zealand Cricket declined to comment.

The net result was four fruitless sessions for New Zealand's bowlers and no batting practice ahead of the first test in Brisbane next week.

Australia's test players, meanwhile, have been warming up at domestic Sheffield Shield matches around the country.

Finch and Carters cashed in against a second-string New Zealand bowling attack with Trent Boult rested and fellow paceman Tim Southee forced to leave the field after a few overs on day one after feeling sick.

Australia meet New Zealand in a three-match Test series starting in Brisbane from November 5.

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