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Black Caps sharpen up before first Test
08:15 AEST Mon Dec 31 2012

New Zealand's cricketers warmed up for Wednesday's first Test against South Africa with a draw against a South African selection in Paarl on Sunday.

At the end of another hot day at Boland Park, New Zealand finished on 2-117 in their second innings after the home team declared on 7-359 at lunch on the third and final day.

The South African Invitational team had the better of the morning session, putting on 85 for the loss of one wicket, with Chris Martin inducing a false stroke from Shaun Liebisch who was caught at point for four.

The New Zealand attack toiled hard on a lifeless pitch with eight bowlers getting through 119 overs across four sessions.

Most New Zealand batsmen managed valuable time at the crease, with Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum scoring half-centuries in the first innings of 6-311 declared, while Martin Guptill remained undefeated on 68 in his second effort.

Guptill's opening partner, McCullum, added 28 early on Sunday before edging spinner Siya Simetu to first slip while Dean Brownlie, who did not bat in the first innings due to a stomach bug, was trapped in front by seamer Petrus Jeftha for six.

Daniel Flynn was unbeaten on 14 at tea when the captains agreed to call time.

Guptill said the chance to spend time in the middle had been useful.

"The main thing for us was to get the bowling loads under the belt and for the batsmen to face 50-100 balls.

"It was good to get time on our feet as we prepare to take on South Africa.

"We know it's going to be a bouncy wicket in Newlands, so we have to prepare for that over the next couple of days."

The first Test starts in Cape Town on Wednesday.


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