Harry Brook hits nine sixes in England warm-up match against New Zealand XI
Harry Brook launched nine sixes before falling for 97 as England kicked off their tour of New Zealand with a typically assertive batting performance in Hamilton.
After two sessions the tourists had racked up 375 for six, scoring at a punishing rate of 7.2 an over as their bold approach to the longest format continued to provide plenty of thrills and spills.
Captain Ben Stokes opted not to take the field, allowing Ollie Pope to lead the side instead. There are no injury doubts over the skipper, who was said to be happy with his preparations and did not feel the need to face the local attack.
The 3rd session of the pink-ball warm-up match is underway. An early wicket from Kyle Jamieson has @englandcricket 376-6. Livestream and scoring➡️ https://t.co/Prlbn2v8Ql #NZvENG #CricketNation #Cricket pic.twitter.com/GFjAg2wKcf
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 8, 2023
Brook, who scored three centuries in as many Tests during the whitewash over Pakistan before Christmas, was in electric form as he lashed a New Zealand XI to all parts of Seddon Park on the first of two days of warm-up action.
Rookie leg-spinner Adi Ashok bore the brunt, pounded for five consecutive sixes in an over after Brook blocked the first delivery.
The first of those maximums not only cleared the boundary rope, it also soared straight over an ambulance, beyond a security fence and on to the main road out of the ground.
Oh hello, New Zealand! 👋
Two-match Test series 🔜
🇳🇿 #NZvENG 🏴 pic.twitter.com/LZXKFkhlhg
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 6, 2023
Brook also showed his class against a proven international performer, lacing a flat pull for six more off Kyle Jamieson, the 6ft 8in Black Caps seamer who is set to feature in the Test series later this month.
The Yorkshireman’s innings ended in fitting fashion after 71 balls, aiming an uppercut at Jarrod McKay and being caught on the ropes at deep third. A few more inches on the shot and it would have been a tenth six and another hundred.
Joe Root had earlier made a thoroughly accomplished 77 while Dan Lawrence, who looks set to carry the drinks in the series proper, thrashed a lively 85. Zak Crawley (17), Ben Duckett (32) and Pope (26) all failed to kick on after getting starts.