Rutherford rocks up century as Black Caps prepare for first Test

NEW Zealand batsman Hamish Rutherford hit an unbeaten ton on the first day of his team’s tour match with England Lions to help settle his nerves ahead of next week’s first Test at Lord’s.

The 24-year-old left-hander scored 116 runs from 135 balls, including 20 boundaries, as the Black Caps closed on 184-3 at the end of a rain-disrupted day.

Rutherford’s exceptional knock follows a poor performance in last week’s tour match with Derbyshire where he scored 13 runs from two innings, but he now feels in good shape going into the first Test.

“I was maybe a little naïve last week,” he said. “It was nice to spend some time at the crease.”

NEW ZEALAND ON TOUR

Test matches
■ Lord’s: 16 May-20 May
■ Headingley: 24 May-28 May

One day internationals
■ Lord’s: 31 May
■ The Ageas Bowl: 2 June
■ Trent Bridge: 5 June