The expected rain arrived early in the afternoon to bring an early end to New Zealand’s final warm-up match ahead of next week’s first Test, and thus deny Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor the opportunity to add to their tally of a single innings on tour. The New Zealanders did finally dismiss Joe Root in the play that was possible in the morning but not before he had made 179.
Bairstow was the first man to fall in the morning for a confident 68 off 76 balls, extending his overnight fifth-wicket stand with captain Root to 135.
Doug Bracewell then struck twice and did his chances of a starting berth at Lord’s no harm. He finally ended Root’s marathon innings by bowling him off his 276th delivery and then knocked back the off-stump of new batsman Chris Woakes in his next over.
The New Zealanders may have fancied their chances of getting another bat at this point, but Bopara, Toby Roland-Jones and the rain saw to that. Bopara played nicely and hit seven boundaries during his 72-ball stay which yielded 42 runs. He added an unbroken 42 for the eighth-wicket with Middlesex bowler Roland-Jones, who finished not out on 22 off 40 balls. England Lions ended on 444 for seven with a lead of 159 over the tourists.
© Cricket World 2013
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