Prior, Swann Stand Firm After England Wobble
England XI 426 & 256-9 (Prior 68) v
New Zealand XI 349-7 dec.
Tour game, Queenstown, day three
England XI closed day three of their tour game against a New Zealand XI 333 runs ahead in Queenstown, reaching stumps at 256 for nine in their second innings.
After some quick runs had come in the morning for the home side through BJ Watling and Corey Anderson, they declared on 349 for seven in reply to England's first innings of 426.
Watling hit 66 in 127 balls and Anderson 67 in just 62 as New Zealand XI held the upper hand but England fought back and through Matthew Prior's half-century, had established a healthy lead ahead of the final day despite a far from convincing performance from the top order.
After being reduced to 67 for four, Prior top scored with 68 in 76 balls and Graeme Swann added an important 41 not out to ensure England were able to bat on.
The day began with the home team in positive mood, Watling and Anderson scoring 22 runs from one Graham Onions over as the Durham man leaked 131 runs in 22 overs in all.
Anderson thumped 13 fours and a six on the way to his half-century while Watling was unbeaten on 66 in 127 balls with eight fours.
Onions finally got his man when Anderson was caught by Stuart Broad and with Neil Wagner not out on 11, New Zealand XI declared behind to move the game along.
Swann was the pick of the bowlers with two for 52 as Broad, Chris Woakes and Jonathan Trott all picked up one wicket apiece.
England then struggled somewhat with the bat as Alastair Cook (20), Nick Compton (1), Trott (20) and Pietersen (8) all fell cheaply and when Prior strode to the crease, the score read 44 for three.
Promoted ahead of Ian Bell and Joe Root (who soon joined him at 67 for four) to get some time in the middle, he used it well, hitting 11 fours in a typically aggressive 76-ball knock.
Root made 17 and together the pair added 78 for the fifth wicket although they fell within two runs of each other, bringing together Warwickshire pair Woakes (9) and Bell, who added 38 to his first innings century.
Broad was caught off Mark Gillespie for 10 but some free hitting from Swann, including six fours and a six, extended England's lead and frustrated the home side, who must have fancied their chances of making a start on their target before stumps were drawn.
Gillespie was in fine form, returning figures of four for 87 while Wagner and Carl Cachopa took two wickets apiece.
© Cricket World 2013
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