Astle feasts on Queensland bowlers

BRISBANE, NOV. 1. Nathan Astle smashed an unbeaten 160 as New Zealand reached 332 for six at close on the first day of its tour match against Queensland.

The tourists, who opted to bat in the four-day game, lost their first three wickets for 34 runs before Astle and captain Stephen Fleming shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 175.

Fleming was eventually out for 69 but Astle never let up. His 272-ball innings has so far contained two sixes and 21 fours and giving him company at close was Adam Parore with six.

Astle, 30, has a Test average of 35.28 in 46 matches including six centuries, but against Australia he has made only 286 runs in six games at an average of 26.00.

For Queensland, Andrew Bichel had figures of two for 54, Ashley Noffke one for 60 and Mitchell Johnson, a 19-year-old left-arm seamer, one for 43.

New Zealand's three-Test series against Australia starts in Brisbane on November 8.

The scores: New Zealand (1st innings) 332 for six (N. Astle 160 not out, S. Fleming 69, Chris Cairns 39) vs Queensland.

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