Cricket: Rookie Rutherford puts New Zealand on top

DUNEDIN (AFP) - A superb 171 on debut from Hamish Rutherford steered New Zealand to a commanding first innings lead over England on the third day of the opening Test at the University Oval on Friday.

The 23-year-old posted the seventh highest debut in Test history as he carved up the England attack, exceeding the tourists' first innings total of 167 single handedly as New Zealand opened up a 235 innings lead.

The Black Caps were 402-7 when rain halted play late in the day, with Brendon McCullum unbeaten on 44 and Bruce Martin 17 not out.