Watch: Kane Williamson, four Black Caps ND teammates combine for 1 run - then Trent Boult performs a miracle

Trent Boult starred with the ball, then with the bat, as Northern Districts star-studded side narrowly avoided abject humiliation at Mt Maunganui today.

In the opening round of the Plunket Shield agauinst Otago, Boult took two wickets and his team was sitting prod after rolling the visitors for just 108.

But after lunch, their Black Cap-laden batting order crumbled.

Kane Williamson 1, BJ Watling 0, Colin de Grandhomme 0, Ish Sodhi 0 and Neil Wagner 0 combined for just one run, and at 58 for eight, then 82 for nine, an embarrassing first innings loss looked on the cards.

But, of course, you can never count at Boult, who proceeded to smash 61 off 37 balls, to haul his side in front, eventually ending on 136.

The Black Caps travel to the United Arab of Emirates for three T20s, three ODIs and three Tests against Pakistan later this month with the first T20 set to start on October 31.

The Northern Districts bowled Otago all out in the first innings for 108 runs in Mount Maunganui. Source: 1 NEWS



'See what comes up next year' - disgraced Australian coach eyes return to cricket

Darren Lehmann has revealed his ambition to return to coaching.

Lehmann was slated to step down as Australia's coach after the 2019 Ashes in England but resigned in tears amid the Cape Town cheating scandal.

Lehmann was cleared of any wrongdoing by a formal Cricket Australia (CA) investigation of the ball-tampering saga, which resulted in year-long bans for Steve Smith and David Warner.

The no-nonsense mentor decided, shortly after watching Smith repeatedly break down during his arrival press conference at Sydney airport, that it was time to go.

Lehmann, who was in charge of the national side for almost five years, recently completed his contract with CA at the organisation's training base in Brisbane.

The 48-year-old doesn't hold any formal coaching position.

"I'd like to coach again one day. I think I'm a good coach, my coaching record is pretty good," Lehmann told AAP at the launch of Fox Cricket.

"At some stage I'll get there.

"A shorter commitment is probably the way to go ... that's probably what I'm looking for.

"But I'm just going to stay away from it this summer, watch the cricket and enjoy it. See what comes up next year."

Lehmann oversaw Ashes success at home in 2013-14 and 2017-18, plus Australia's 2015 World Cup triumph, but his role in the side's aggressive win-at-all-costs mentality has been questioned.

The former Test batsman is keen to see the results of an independent cultural review of CA, having shared some "good discussions" with the Ethics Centre panel.

Lehmann backed Smith, who attended Tuesday's launch at the SCG, Warner and Cameron Bancroft to bounce back from their bans.

"I speak to them all the time. They're going alright," Lehmann said.

"They'll come back really well. They're good young men and they'll come back.

"They've been training, hitting and they're fit. Spending some time away from the game as well.

"I'd love them to be available for domestic cricket but that's not my decision. That's the powers above me."

The previous six months have been a rollercoaster for Lehmann, who has previously admitted he initially wasn't in a great place after the sandpaper scandal.

"I've got my life back. It (coaching Australia) was 300-odd days away from home a year, it takes its toll," Lehmann said.

"It's been good to be home and actually enjoy just going to the cricket now, watching it without all the influences around having to win.

"There's no stress, put it that way. It's quite good."

Australian Cricket coach Darren Lehmann. Source: 1 NEWS



A long time coming – Wellington Firebirds batsman finally gets his shot

Top-order batsman Andrew Fletcher will finally make his Wellington Firebirds debut, four years after first making the wider training squad.

Fletcher said he had his doubts about ever donning on the Firebirds uniform.

"Many times I doubted if this was going to happen. Especially getting into my mid-20s, those thoughts definitely go through your mind," said Fletcher.

"But you've got to stay positive, keep working for what you want, and it will come eventually. And it did come (for me) and I’m just really happy."

Fletcher, who plays his club cricket at Onslow cricket club, was awarded the 16th and final contract for 2018-19.

"I've been privileged to come into such a good environment."

Fletcher and the Firebirds will get their Plunkett Shield campaign underway at the Basin Reserve tomorrow morning, where they host the Auckland Aces.

Four years since making the wider training squad, Fletcher will finally play against the Auckland Aces at the Basin Reserve. Source: 1 NEWS


Banned Aussie batsman Cameron Bancroft falters in first game on home soil since ball-tampering scandal

Banned Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft starred in the field but struggled with the bat in his first cricket match on WA soil since the ball-tampering scandal.

Captaining his local club Willetton on Saturday, Bancroft fell for four in his team's small run chase against Midland-Guildford in the 50-over match at Burrendah Park.

The 25-year-old was the first wicket to go as Willetton aimed to chase down the victory target of 87 in the WA Premier Cricket League season opener.

Bancroft looked rusty before opening his account with a cracking cover drive to the boundary in the fourth over. But he fell shortly after, caught behind off Corry Verco in his 13th delivery faced.

He looked unhappy with the decision before trudging off the ground.

It soured what had been a good day in the field for Bancroft.

After winning the toss and electing to field, Bancroft was in the play immediately with a low catch at second slip as Midland-Guilford lost their first wicket. He finished with three sharp catches, the best being an outstretched dive to his left off seamer Aaron McCall.

It was a low-key return for Bancroft who is serving a nine-month suspension from international and state cricket for his role in the ball-tampering incident against South Africa during Australia's third Test defeat in Cape Town in March.

Only a handful of spectators were at the ground in a notable contrast to the fanfare that greeted the recent grade cricket comebacks of former Australian leaders Steve Smith and David Warner in Sydney.

Since his suspension, Bancroft had only played in the Northern Territory Strike League in Darwin in July. His ban ends on December 29 and he is likely to move up the ranks through the BBL with the Perth Scorchers playing Hobart Hurricanes on December 30.

Cameron Bancroft of Australia talks to the umpire on the third day of the third cricket test between South Africa and Australia at Newlands Stadium, in Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Halden Krog)
The umpires speak to Cameron Bancroft (left), who admitted cheating, while his captain Steve Smith watches on. Source: Associated Press


White Ferns thrashed in final T20 as Australia secure series whitewash

Alyssa Healy provided the batting fireworks and allrounders Ellyse Perry and Sophie Molineux the bowling pyrotechnics, with Australia completing a first women's T20 series clean sweep of New Zealand .

Australia added a nine-wicket win at Canberra's Manuka Oval to the six-wicket victories in the first two matches of the series in Sydney and Brisbane.

New Zealand's openers put on 29 for the first wicket but the White Ferns lost 6-16 before being rolled for just 103.

Wicketkeeper Healy and fellow opener Beth Mooney made light work of the modest target, which was reached after just 12.3 overs.

Healy laid into an ineffective attack, smashing 67 off 44 balls before lofting a catch to deep midwicket with six runs required.

Coming off 57 in the second game, Healy belted 12 fours and a six, while Mooney finished unbeaten on 29.

Healy was named player of the series.

Fast bowler and player of the match Perry was at her aggressive best, taking 4-21, including the key scalps of Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite.

Spinner Molineux showed great control to earn lbw decisions against Bernadine Bezuidenhout and Kate Ebrahim in successive deliveries and although denied a hattrick she could celebrate her best T20 international figures of 3-11.

So dominant were Australia through the series that accomplished batters Perry and Molineux didn't have a hit in the three games.

New Zealand contributed to their downfall with some loose shots as Australia's bowlers extracted some swing in chilly conditions.

The only White Ferns batter to fire was Katey Martin whose defiant unbeaten 35 off 34 balls, included three of the innings' seven fours.

While an unchanged Australian line-up dropped two chances early on, vice-captain Rachael Haynes took a superb diving left-handed catch to remove Jess Watkin for the first of New Zealand's five ducks.

Australia will play three matches against Pakistan in Malaysia later this month before heading to the West Indies for the World T20 tournament in November.

Australia's Delissa Kimmince appeals against the White Ferns
Australia's Delissa Kimmince appeals against the White Ferns Source: Photosport