Elliott, Ronchi make the most in tour game against Leicestershire

Elliott, Ronchi struck quickfire centuries as they starred in New Zealanders' massive 198-run win over Leicestershire in the only warm-up match of their tour of England.

Elliott, Ronchi make the most in tour game against Leicestershire

Leicester: Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi struck quickfire centuries as they starred in New Zealanders' massive 198-run win over Leicestershire in the only warm-up match before the limited-overs leg of their tour of England, on Saturday (June 6).

Elliott was unbeaten on 106 off 79 balls, while Ronchi made an identical score, off 76 balls and was unbeaten as well. The duo's unbroken 221-run stand for the sixth wicket helped New Zealanders recover from some early strikes and race to an imposing 373 for 5 in 50 overs.

In return, Leicestershire could only manage a paltry 175 all out in 42.3 overs, with Mitchell McClenaghan, still fresh off a healthy stint with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, picking up 4 for 31 in 9.3 overs.

Elliott and Ronchi began their association with New Zealanders at 152 for 5 in the 25th over. New Zealanders desperately needed a stand that would put the innings back on track. Ronchi and Elliott did that, and more as the second half of the innings decisively belonged to the visitors, after Leicestershire had dominated early on.

Elliott struck 12 boundaries and two sixes, while Ronchi smashed 13 boundaries and sent two over the fence. New Zealanders scored at nearly nine an over for 25 overs to make amends after a poor start, thanks to the duo's blazing knocks.

Amidst the carnage, Atif Sheikh, the left-arm pacer, managed to bowl a brilliant spell for Leicestershire, returning 3 for 49 in nine overs. It was Tom Wells, the right-arm medium pacer, who felt the heat the most. Wells picked up two huge wickets - that of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. But that was put in the shade by the fact that his ten overs cost him 98 runs. Ollie Freckingham, who operated with the new ball alongside Sheikh, also had a game to forget, going for 86 runs without any wickets to show in his 10 overs.

The day began with Leicestershire gaining the upper hand early as Sheikh got rid of Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum in quick succession. McCullum was the first to fall when he was caught behind, while Guptill was castled.

Williamson and Taylor then attempted to resurrect the innings with an 87-run third-wicket partnership that came in just 90 balls.

But just when it had seemed like New Zealanders had managed to make a recovery, Wells had Williamson caught for 45. Taylor, who was more expressive in the partnership, had struck six fours and four sixes, but was caught behind in the bowler's next over, after which Elliott walked out.

Mitchell Santer did not last long, and Ronchi joined Elliott to deflate the Leicestershire attack.

The chase was going to be about laying a good foundation early on, but the New Zealanders ensured that wasn't the case. They constantly chipped away at the wickets and did not allow any partnership to flourish.

McClenaghan provided the opening breakthrough by having Lewis Hill castled. He then returned to send Umar Akmal and Neil Pinner back in quick time and at 84 for 4 in the 21st over, significant damage had been already inflicted.

Angus Robson, the opener, provided the lone reason to cheer for Leicestershire as he defied the New Zealanders with a 97-ball 67. He had a 45-run third wicket stand with Akmal - the highest of the innings but he found little support otherwise.

Sheikh (22 off 23) and Rob Sayer (22 not out off 33) attempted to provide some late resistance and put on 35 for the ninth wicket. But by then, the fate of the match had more or less been sealed. McClenaghan completed the formalities by adding one more to his tally to give New Zealanders a comprehensive win.

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2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 3941 109
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 Australia 6047 275
2 England 5959 271
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 6009 261
5 South Africa 4380 258
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