New Zealand bowlers put to the sword as Finch hits back
Victorian Aaron Finch responded to his Sheffield Shield snubbing in emphatic fashion, blazing an unbeaten 214 as the Cricket Australia XI compiled a stunning 0-376 against New Zealand on day one of a three-day match in Blacktown.
Many would argue the Australian one-day opener and T20 captain was unfairly dumped from the Bushrangers' opening Shield game against Queensland, despite a poor Matador Cup campaign.
Finch shrugged off the disappointment to blaze five sixes on the way to his maiden first-class double hundred from 270 balls.
New South Wales opener Ryan Carters was also unbeaten, reaching 156 off 276 balls at stumps. Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum shared the bowling around in the practice match, with only keeper BJ Watling and batsman Ross Taylor not given a bowl.
McCullum even sent down four overs himself as he tried to ensure his pacemen weren't given too much of a workload before next week's first Test in Brisbane.
The tourists' cause wasn't helped by a stomach illness suffered by front-line quick Tim Southee, who managed just three overs being leaving the field.
His absence left the Black Caps without two of its best bowlers after Trent Boult was rested for the game.
Fellow pacemen Doug Bracewell (0-40 off 15 overs) and Matt Henry (0-62 off 19 overs) both had a frustrating time, while spinner Mark Craig had the most expensive figures for the day, finishing with 0-102 off 22 overs.