New Zealand's Fulton hits maiden ton as England thwarted

AUCKLAND Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:46am IST

1 of 2. Peter Fulton of New Zealand celebrates scoring 124 runs not out during day one of the final cricket test against England at Eden Park in Auckland March 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Nigel Marple

AUCKLAND (Reuters) - Peter Fulton scored his maiden test century as he anchored New Zealand to an impressive 250 for one at the close of the first day of the series-deciding third test against England at Eden Park on Friday.

Fulton, who shared in a 79-run opening partnership with Hamish Rutherford (37), was unbeaten on 124 with Kane Williamson on 83 at stumps after England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and put the hosts in.

The 22-year-old Williamson, in sight of his fourth test century, joined Fulton just five minutes before lunch and the pair combined to frustrate the England attack with a patient 171-run stand.

The hosts were 173 for one when they resumed after the tea break and Fulton moved to 99 when he got up on his toes and pulled a short Steven Finn delivery to the midwicket boundary.

England's 'Barmy Army' of travelling fans broke into their customary chants in an effort to unsettle the tall righthander, who spent nine balls on 99 and resisted the temptation posed by a succession of wide deliveries from paceman Finn.

Fulton broke the spell when he worked a ball from spinner Monty Panesar wide of mid-on for a single and permitted himself a low-key celebration, removing his helmet and raising his bat to acknowledge a standing ovation from the crowd.

"I did notice that, actually," Fulton told reporters, when asked about the 'Barmy Army's' heckling. "I think it's just good to have them here, really.

"I think traditionally in New Zealand our crowds don't sort of make too much noise, so it was nice, I guess, to build a little bit of atmosphere for it."

GREEN PITCH

England captain Cook won his first toss of the test series and chose to bowl on a drop-in pitch that showed green tinges and promised more bounce than the wickets in Dunedin and Wellington.

Cook's fast-bowling trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Finn produced some anxious moments for Fulton and Rutherford in the morning session but once the sun emerged and flattened out the pitch, New Zealand were barely troubled.

"Looking at the wicket this morning it looked like there was a bit in it for the bowler," Finn said.

"There was plenty of green grass on it but that just seemed to be holding the wicket together rather than offering us assistance.

"We did expect it to do more than it did but after realising that we stuck to our plans well.

"We only took one wicket, yes, but to keep them under three an over and not be too far out of sights is good."

England's only success on the placid Eden Park pitch came when Rutherford wafted at a wide delivery from Finn and nicked the ball to Cook at first slip shortly before lunch.

England were culpable for bowling a little too straight, and Fulton exploited that to the fullest, whipping the ball through the leg side for 98 of his runs.

The 34-year-old Fulton was particularly aggressive against left-armer Panesar, who was often too short of a length and allowed the tall righthander to rock back and belt him to the leg side boundary four times and over it twice.

Fulton's previous best test score was 75 against West Indies in 2006 and prior to the first match in Dunedin had not played a test since 2009.

He remade himself as an opener in the interim period and was recalled on the back of a strong first class season.

(Editing by Ian Ransom)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Champions League

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Sarita's Suspension

Sarita's Suspension

India hope to get boxer Sarita Devi's suspension reversed.  Full Article 

Fate in Balance

Fate in Balance

Caterham F1 factory closed, team's fate in the balance.  Full Article 

Wozniacki Wins

Wozniacki Wins

Wozniacki powers past Radwanska at WTA Finals.  Full Article 

Swiss Indoors Basel

Swiss Indoors Basel

Federer opens Basel campaign in style, Nadal progresses.  Full Article 

Close To Collapse

Close To Collapse

Crisis deepens at Caterham Formula One team.  Full Article 

Olympic Recognition

Olympic Recognition

Kosovo granted provisional Olympic recognition by IOC.  Full Article 

WTA Finals

WTA Finals

World number one Williams walloped by Halep   Full Article 

West Indies Trouble

West Indies Trouble

ICC 'concerned' by India-West Indies dispute  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage