Cricket: Caged-up Southee eager to make hay while the sun shines

Sports Saturday 24/March/2018 16:30 PM
By: Times News Service
Cricket: Caged-up Southee eager to make hay while the sun shines

Auckland: Tim Southee is mindful of how well placed New Zealand are in the rain-affected first Test against England, but the pace bowler is starting to get frustrated that the game has barely moved on since day one.
Rain washed out all but 17 balls of play on the third day, with New Zealand moving their score on to 233 for four and increasing their lead over the visitors to 175 with two days remaining in the day-night Test.
A little over 90 minutes of play was possible on the second day and it has been more than two days since Southee has had any meaningful role to play in the game after he and new-ball partner Trent Boult dismissed England for 58.
"The position we're in now is a good one," Southee, who returned figures of 4-25, told reporters in Auckland.
"The rain has been frustrating but the work we put in on day one has made that frustration a little bit easier to swallow."
Southee and Boult (six for 32) bowled all 20.4 overs of England's innings between them and the right-armer jokingly said that while he had played second fiddle to his colleague, he was happy as long as they were taking wickets.
"You're obviously wanting to take wickets, but when you're in that huddle and the guys are getting around you for the job you're doing at your end, you still feel like you're still contributing to him taking the wickets," Southee said.
"It's a great partnership and we've bowled reasonably well together for a while now, so it's nice to see Trent do well and feel like you're contributing at the other end, helping to build some pressure."
While the forecast is for better weather over the last two days, the focus will now be on how long New Zealand want to bat at Eden Park on Sunday, with the possibility of exploiting conditions under lights needing to be factored in.
Southee, however, said whenever they got the ball back in their hands, they would still need to bowl well against an England side unlikely to bat as badly as they had in the first innings.
"I think the pink ball historically has been a nice ball to bowl with first up, but you've still got to put it in the right areas and try to get as much as movement as you can," Southee said.
"We had the first use of the wicket and we probably got our lengths right, but we've seen throughout, when England have bowled, there have always been challenging times, and our batters have done a pretty good job so far.
"Being caged up for a couple of days, it's important when we do go out and bowl that we hit our areas from the start."
The second match of the two-Test series starts in Christchurch on March 30.