Warm-up ends in draw as rain ruins last two days

BLACKCAPS v England Lions, four-day match at Grace Road, Leicester
After day four: New Zealand 285, England Lions 444-7.
Result: the match was drawn

The four-day match between the BLACKCAPS and England Lions ended in a draw after rain ruined the last two days.

The teams got through the first session at Grace Road in Leicester today but rain for the bulk of the afternoon meant there was only 15 minutes more play in the day. The Lions were 444-7 in reply to New Zealand’s 285 when the match was abandoned.

Trent Boult had started the day well for the BLACKCAPS with an early wicket, getting England Test squad member Jonny Bairstow lbw for 68./

His fellow seamer Doug Bracewell chimed in with two wickets before lunch. He claimed the all-important wicket of Joe Root bowling the Lions captain for 179. A few overs later Bracewell also took out one of Chris Woakes’ stumps after managing only a solitary run.

The restart after lunch was delayed and in the few minutes of play in the afternoon, the Lions took their total to 444-7 before the match petered into a draw.

Boult finished with figures of 3-86 and Bracewell 2-95. Bruce Martin and Tim Southee grabbed a wicket each.

While many of the BLACKCAPS batsmen will be disappointed not to have had another period at the crease, you can’t always count on four fine days in spring in England.

Rain calls off play with no action since lunch

BLACKCAPS v England Lions, four-day match at Grace Road, Leicester
After day three: New Zealand 285, England Lions 315-4

Icy rain was the dominant factor on the third day of the four-day match between the BLACKCAPS and England Lions at Grace Road, Leicester.

The day’s play was called just after 4.30pm with no action since the lunch break due to driving rain sweeping the ground.

In the first and only session of the day, the BLACKCAPS made the best possible start with seamer Trent Boult grabbing two early wickets.

Firstly he had night watchman Chris Wright caught by Tim Southee at second slip for five. Then he got James Taylor to nick one through to BJ Watling after making just two runs.

There was a short rain stoppage before lunch but that was the only break in the partnership of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, who combined to take the Lions to 315-4.

Rain for the bulk of the afternoon meant there was no further play leaving Lions captain Root on 143 and Bairstow on 45.

Lions have better of day two

BLACKCAPS v England Lions, four-day match at Grace Road, Leicester
After day two: New Zealand 285, England Lions 219-2

The England Lions had the better of the second day of their four day match against the BLACKCAPS at Grace Road, Leicester.

The home side built a strong second wicket partnership to be 219-2 at the end of the day’s play. The Lions had earlier knocked over the last seven BLACKCAPS wickets cheaply with the visitors adding just 101 to their overnight score.

Yesterday’s century maker Hamish Rutherford didn’t last long in the windy and cool conditions, adding only 10 runs before being run out by Chris Woakes for 126.

Captain Brendon McCullum joined Dean Brownlie at the crease for his first innings on tour but only faced four balls and scored a solitary run before being caught in the slips by Michael Carberry off the bowling of Graham Onions.

BJ Watling battled for 23 before being bowled by Woakes, while Tim Southee was dropped twice, before going lbw to Ravi Bopara for 11.

The BLACKCAPS were 274-7 at the lunch break and would be pretty disappointed with the morning’s effort after being 184-3 overnight.

Their innings finished soon after the lunch break at 285 with bowlers Bruce Martin, Doug Bracewell and Trent Boult all going cheaply. Martin went lbw to fellow spinner Simon Kerrigan for six, Bracewell was caught off the bowling of Roland-Jones for four and Boult also went for four bowled by Roland-Jones to give him four wickets in the innings.

Brownlie finished not out on 41, running out of partners before he could reach his 50.

In the field, the BLACKCAPS made a great start with Southee getting opener Varun Chopra caught at second slip by McCullum for four to have the Lions 19-1.

But after that it was all the Lions with Carberry and captain Joe Root getting on top of the Kiwi bowlers as they charged to 201 before the next wicket fell.

Martin finally got Carberry caught at deep square leg by Brownlie to end his innings at 77. Root finished the day by bringing up his century, ending unbeaten on 105.

Rutherford ton on day one v Lions

A Hamish Rutherford century led the BLACKCAPS to a solid 184-3 against the England Lions in very cold and windy conditions at Grace Road, Leicester.

Midway through the afternoon spell play was called off due to rain and strong winds, with only 43 of the 90 overs bowled on the first day of the four-day match.

Rutherford was in a hurry to reach his century during that afternoon spell, smashing four sixes and escaping two chances on the way. He was dropped at deep mid-wicket by Michael Carberry and minutes later he had another life as Graham Onions caught him on the long-on boundary but stepped over the rope.

Earlier in the day, the England Lions had won the toss and opted to bowl first.  The BLACKCAPS finished the first session at 102-2 after losing opener Peter Fulton early on for seven, lbw to Onions. Kane Williamson went not long afterwards for the same score, this time caught at midwicket by Simon Kerrigan off the bowling of Toby Roland-Jones.

Rutherford was in fine touch in the morning session and notched up his half century just before the lunch break. The Otago opener continued his run after lunch, smashing his series of sixes to finish unbeaten at 116 when play was called off for the day.

The talented 24 year-old was pleased to have spent some time at the crease.

"We want to win this game," Rutherford stated.

"It’s nice to spend some decent time at the crease. I haven’t batted a lot over here, so to spend some time out in the middle here in these conditions was massive. I really tried hard this week leading into this game to do well."

Ross Taylor also chimed in with a constructive 35 before being caught lbw to Roland-Jones. Dean Brownlie was left on four not out at the close of play.

The forecast for tomorrow is not much better with more rain and wind expected.

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
Burger King Tui CCC Powerade Caltex 2 Degrees GJ Gardner BLK
Sky Pitch Radio Sport TAB Accor Hotels Les Mills