The rain, Joe Root and an injury to Tim Southee all caused the New Zealanders a headache on the third day of their final warm-up match ahead of next week’s first Test at Lord’s. By stumps, which came after only 22 overs of play had been possible in the morning due to persistent showers, England Lions had taken their first innings to 315 for four and lead by 30 runs.
To compound the tourists’ woes, Tim Southee walked off with a foot injury after a short opening spell, with it later being confirmed that he will not bowl again in the match. Coach Mike Hesson remains confident that he will be fit for Thursday but, even if he is, then he will be woefully short of match practice - a situation that could open the door for Neil Wagner.
The Lions lost night-watchman Chris Wright in the fourth over of the day to a much-improved Trent Boult, but were dealt a more significant blow when Boult had James Taylor caught behind for just two in his next over. It capped a disappointing day for Taylor, who as expected missed out on a middle-order berth to Jonny Bairstow, but would have been hoping to make amends today.
Bairstow certainly did make the most of his opportunity to impress and was the aggressor during an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 81 with Joe Root that took the Lions into the lead. He was particularly severe on Bruce Martin, whose economy rate climbed above five an over during the course of the morning, and ended on 45 off 53 balls, with Root unbeaten on 143 off 223.
© Cricket World 2013
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