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Sport England forced to settle for warm-up draw

14:05  17 november  2019
14:05  17 november  2019 Source:   skysports.com

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Sunday, November 17, 2019 England forced to settle for warm - up draw | Sky UAE Sports England 's bid for a pre-Test series victory was thwarted by New Zealand A's tailenders as the hosts held on for a draw .

England had to settle for a draw in Whangarei as a stubborn ninth-wicket partnership The lesson, it seems, were that first-class warm - up matches provide far more intense and valuable preparation. So England will, up to a point, have relished the fight. And while there may have been moments when

a man in a baseball game: England took eight New Zealand A wickets before the hosts held on for a draw © Getty England took eight New Zealand A wickets before the hosts held on for a draw

England's bid for a pre-Test series victory was thwarted by New Zealand A's tailenders as the hosts held on for a draw in the warm-up in Whangarei. 

New Zealand A tumbled to 104-7 - a lead of just one run - but Scott Kuggleijn (19 off 50 balls) dug in before ninth-wicket pair William Somerville (32no off 87) and Ajaz Patel (10no off 67) would not be budged, lasting 22.4 overs as the home side closed on 169-8.

Spinners Somerville and Patel - left out of New Zealand's Test squad to face England despite playing in Sri Lanka in August - put on 40 to foil the tourists, for whom Jofra Archer (3-34) and Sam Curran (3-42) starred.

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England had to settle for a draw in Whangarei as a stubborn ninth-wicket partnership provided an example of some of the challenges likely to confront them in the Test series against New Zealand. At just after 3pm, with New Zealand A eight wickets down and around 35 overs left in the match

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Curran's haul makes him even more likely to win the battle with Chris Woakes for the final seam-bowling spot in the first Test at Mount Maunganui, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket from 9pm on Wednesday.

Sam Curran's three wickets boosted his hopes of playing in the first Test in Mount Maunganui © Getty Sam Curran's three wickets boosted his hopes of playing in the first Test in Mount Maunganui

England were earlier buoyed by Jos Buttler (110) completing his sixth first-class hundred - and just his second in five years - as they moved from their overnight 355-8 to 405 all out at Cobham Oval.

Buttler, who resumed on 88, reached his ton from 141 deliveries before gloving a pull off Kuggeleijn behind to bring an end to a 153-ball innings that included four sixes and 11 fours and a 71-run partnership with Archer (41no).

Buttler has been restored as England's wicketkeeper for this tour and he went on to take three catches in New Zealand A's second innings after Stuart Broad's golden duck had left Archer stranded.

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I doubt England really cares about winning a warm - up game, anyway. They'll be more encouraged with the overall bowling performance in the 2nd innings. England tend to almost always draw these warm up games these days, I don’t think the result is that important in the grand scheme of things.

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Archer, having missed out on his maiden England fifty, removed Tim Seifert (0) the second over and Rachin Ravindra (22) in the 10th as Dom Sibley swallowed chances at slip.

a man wearing a helmet holding a baseball bat: Jos Buttler raises his bat to celebrate his sixth first-class hundred © Getty Jos Buttler raises his bat to celebrate his sixth first-class hundred

Curran's dismissal of first-innings centurion Glenn Phillips (36) triggered a collapse of five wickets for 34 runs, with the Surrey left-armer also accounting for Jimmy Neesham (9) and Broad, Archer and Ben Stokes ousting Daryl Mitchell (22), Tom Blundell (8) and Kyle Jamieson (4) respectively.

Kuggeleijjn - drafted into the New Zealand A side as a concussion replacement for Hamish Rutherford - then frustrated England after being dropped at slip by Joe Root off Archer.

And although the all-rounder was castled by Curran on the stroke of tea, that would be the final breakthrough as Somerville and Patel held firm.

England, though, will appreciate their bowlers getting a strong run out and that three of their batsmen - Buttler, Ollie Pope (88) and fit-again Joe Denly (68) - found form with the bat.

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