England lose tight warm-up game

England

New Zealand's confidence got a strong boost ahead of the Test series against England, when an XI featuring a number of first team players beat the visitors by three wickets in a warm up match in Queenstown.

New Zealand's confidence got a strong boost ahead of the Test series against England, when an XI featuring a number of first team players beat the visitors by three wickets in a warm up match in Queenstown.

The stunningly picturesque ground witnessed a cracker of a match, with the New Zealanders reaching the 334 required to win on the fourth day thanks to an unbeaten 89 from wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

The match saw two declarations, after England made 426 all out in the first innings, with Ian Bell doing his Test prep some good by scoring a century. Neil Wagner and Jimmy Neesham took four wickets each in that innings.

The Kiwis then declared on 349 for seven, with half centuries by Hamish Rutherford (90), Dean Brownlie (67), Watling (66) and Corey Anderson (67) allowing them a chance to make something of the four-day game.

England then thought they had done enough to post an unreachable target, declaring on 256 for nine. Matt Prior was the best of the batsmen this time, making 68, while Mark Gillespie took four wickets.

Watling had other ideas though, and led the side to victory late on the final day. They needed 23 runs with six overs to go, and Wagner was at Watling's side with an unbeaten 28 as they walked off the field victorious.

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