Devon Conway's preparation for the first test against Bangladesh hasn't quite gone according to plan.
The 30-year-old, who has been on the sidelines for six weeks with a broken hand, is expected to open the batting for the Black Caps when they begin the home summer with a two-test series starting in Mount Maunganui on January 1.
And if there were any fears about Conway being underdone for that assignment, they wouldn't have been assuaged at Bay Oval today.
The batsman was dismissed for a two-ball duck in what was likely his sole opportunity for time in the middle ahead of the first test, playing for a New Zealand XI against Bangladesh in a two-day warm-up match.
Coming in at No 3 in a team featuring Black Caps teammate Neil Wagner and a crop of young Kiwi talent, Conway was caught behind off the bowling of Abu Jayed, a seamer with 30 wickets from 13 tests.
Conway's dismissal was quickly followed by that of Jacob Cumming – son of former New Zealand opener Craig – as the hosts slumped to 8-3 after losing the toss and being sent in.
The New Zealand XI had been reduced 71-5 by the time rain curtailed play, with Jayed taking 3–27 and fellow opening bowler Taskin Ahmed picking up 2–26.
Jakob Bhula and Ma'ara Ave were the unbeaten batsmen, with Wagner due next. The Black Caps veteran will be desperate for conditions to clear tomorrow at the Mount, less for his turn with the bat than a chance to bowl after being overlooked as New Zealand lost their recent two-test series in India 1-0.
But with the tourists' batsmen also undoubtedly keen for some match practice, Conway will likely have to settle for net sessions between now and New Year's Day.
Averaging 63 from his three tests, the left-hander is set to join Tom Latham atop the Black Caps' order in the first test. Conway has been inactive since breaking a bone in his right hand after punching his bat in anger following his dismissal in the Black Caps' Twenty20 World Cup semifinal win over England in November.