England Lions v NZ, Tour Match, Grace Road, 4th day May 12, 2013

New Zealand finally uproot Joe

  shares 13

England Lions 433 for 7 (Root 179, Carberry 77, Bairstow 68) drew with New Zealanders 285 (Rutherford 126, Roland-Jones 4-54)
Live scorecard

Joe Root was finally dismissed on the fourth morning of another rain-soaked day, but not before taking his season tally to 646 runs and raise the slim prospect of an England batsman challenging for 1000 first-class runs before the end of May for the second season running.

Last summer Nick Compton was denied by rain - then reached the landmark a day late on June 1 - and although it remains an outside chance for Root (more than 300 runs in a two-Test series would be a huge achievement, especially batting in the middle order) he has a potential four innings remaining in the month, with Tests at Lord's and then his homeground at Headingley.

This was his third score over 150 this season - and his second-lowest score of the summer - following the 182 and 236 he made in the Championship for Yorkshire, and he could not be heading into the Test series in better form. He took his boundary count to 25 on the final morning - the cover drives standing out - before being slightly late on a delivery from Doug Bracewell that took out off stump.

New Zealand's two fit seamers - Bracewell and Trent Boult - bowled high-class spells in the absence of Tim Southee who is nursing a foot injury that makes him doubtful for Lord's. Boult swung the ball into the right-handers, then made others hold their line to beat the edge, and was rewarded with Jonny Bairstow's wicket.

Bairstow had breezed to 68, although his half-century came with an inside edge past the stumps, as his partnership with Root was extended to 135 in 26 overs. The Yorkshire pair could be a part of England's future for many years to come.

Bracewell, working up good pace from the Bennett End and finding some swing, claimed his second wicket of the day when he took out Chris Woakes' off stump with one that nipped away. Following his haul against Derbyshire, Bracewell has made a strong case to force his way back into the Test side although Southee's injury could yet make it a simple decision.

Root's dominance of this match took the spotlight away from other Lions batsmen trying to impress the selectors. Ravi Bopara played some attractive shots - especially a straight drive off Bracewell - as he made the most of the decision to bat on throughout the morning rather than declare.

The senior England team will be pleased that New Zealand were denied another bat, particularly as Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor have only had one innings on the trip. The rain arrived during lunch and didn't relent, leaving them to rely on nets ahead of the Test.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 12, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    I guess when your lowest score in the last three innings is 179, you know you're in form.

    Not very good practice for the New Zealanders, with the exception of Rutherford. A combination of rain and Root means everything in the garden is lovely for England, though.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Shame the rain spoilt the game somewhat but the Lions did well. Joe Root really in the zone at the moment, 3 hundreds in a row and the lowest 179 is some kind of form! Would love to see him open in the test match or at least play at number 4 above Bell

  • POSTED BY ashes61 on | May 13, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Yes, looking OK for ENG but no room for complacency - I was very impressed by the Kiwis in the recent Test series. Much may depend on weather, pitches & preparation completed by each camp. Although matches aren't won on paper, the line-up looks steady. With a batting order of Cook, Compton, Trott, Bell, Root, Bairstow & Prior, plenty of runs should be forthcoming. The reserves situation also look encouraging, with Morgan, Taylor, Bopara, Carberry & Pietersen in the wings, although I don't see any of them getting a chance without serious injury to a 1st team player, with the possible exception of Morgan. If the top 6 fire in these two Tests, that should be it for the 10 Ashes Tests, unless a form change is needed by the time they get Down Under. Certainly expecting a much stiffer test of ENG's resolve & skills from NZ than from poor old OZ, who look right out of it.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | May 13, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @Noel Petty, IMO Root must bat at 6 in the ashes. Since Collingwood retired & Bell's move up the order to 5 we have not found anyone who has remotly fitted the bill until now. The top 5 looks good to me & if we have Root at 6 & Prior 7 then our batting looks as solid as it ever has.There may still be some questions marks over Compton but 2 test 100s & an ave of 40 in his first 7 tests is a more than satisfactory return, espically considering all the tests were away from home. There may already be another natural opening batman of some quality waiting in the wings in Sam Robson (As long as Aus don't nab him first) so I would certainly leave Root where he is.

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | May 13, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Thought we had something special in williamson but he's got nothing on this kid at the moment, not to say williamson wont get there he's very talented. They are both very similar players, top order right handed batters, both off spinners so it will be interesting to see who has the better series out of these two and who has the best numbers by the end of their carears at the moment your money would be on root but we'll see.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 13, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    It would appear that Randy, a truly loyal & patriotic Aussie, is closely following the example of the Oz cricketers and not doing his homework!

    CA's cunning new method of judging the strength of the reserves, tossing a baggy green to a chap like Rob Quiney and seeing if he can do any better than Hughes, says a thing or 2 about Oz's currently very shallow pool. Quiney took very seriously his selection as Oz's new # 3, and made sure that his test average exactly matched his position in the batting order. As Hughes' test ave is 33, it is thus clearly established that the Oz reserves are 10 times worse than Hughes - a really frightening concept, but in the "New Stralia," a harsh reality!

    Even more frightening, his 9 runs on debut, Quiney were twice as much as the combined scores Warner & Ponting! Poor feller, Quiney, those were the only runs he scored in test cricket, bagging a pair in his next, and last game. A baggy green is just not what it used to be!

    About those reserves, Randy?

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Shame the rain spoilt the game somewhat but the Lions did well. Joe Root really in the zone at the moment, 3 hundreds in a row and the lowest 179 is some kind of form! Would love to see him open in the test match or at least play at number 4 above Bell

  • POSTED BY Cover_Drive_Comrade on | May 12, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Joe Root, Is My most favourite young-star-high scoring-top class and most good-looking batsman of the Years 2012-13 | The best innings OR the match where I knew he was incredible with a bat in hand was in One of the matches of the India Vs England ODI Series where he racked up his ODI Career-Best (79*)!

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    RandyOz The majority of the Lion's batting lineup would walk into the current Australian side. Clarke can't carry you forever.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | May 12, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    I don't lament Bopara doing well, although I think he was included because of Flower's favouritism. I think it's a shame that the rain arrived to deprive Bop of a chance of a 50 or more to make up for his terrible run of low scores.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 12, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    I guess when your lowest score in the last three innings is 179, you know you're in form.

    Not very good practice for the New Zealanders, with the exception of Rutherford. A combination of rain and Root means everything in the garden is lovely for England, though.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Shame the rain spoilt the game somewhat but the Lions did well. Joe Root really in the zone at the moment, 3 hundreds in a row and the lowest 179 is some kind of form! Would love to see him open in the test match or at least play at number 4 above Bell

  • POSTED BY ashes61 on | May 13, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Yes, looking OK for ENG but no room for complacency - I was very impressed by the Kiwis in the recent Test series. Much may depend on weather, pitches & preparation completed by each camp. Although matches aren't won on paper, the line-up looks steady. With a batting order of Cook, Compton, Trott, Bell, Root, Bairstow & Prior, plenty of runs should be forthcoming. The reserves situation also look encouraging, with Morgan, Taylor, Bopara, Carberry & Pietersen in the wings, although I don't see any of them getting a chance without serious injury to a 1st team player, with the possible exception of Morgan. If the top 6 fire in these two Tests, that should be it for the 10 Ashes Tests, unless a form change is needed by the time they get Down Under. Certainly expecting a much stiffer test of ENG's resolve & skills from NZ than from poor old OZ, who look right out of it.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | May 13, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @Noel Petty, IMO Root must bat at 6 in the ashes. Since Collingwood retired & Bell's move up the order to 5 we have not found anyone who has remotly fitted the bill until now. The top 5 looks good to me & if we have Root at 6 & Prior 7 then our batting looks as solid as it ever has.There may still be some questions marks over Compton but 2 test 100s & an ave of 40 in his first 7 tests is a more than satisfactory return, espically considering all the tests were away from home. There may already be another natural opening batman of some quality waiting in the wings in Sam Robson (As long as Aus don't nab him first) so I would certainly leave Root where he is.

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | May 13, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Thought we had something special in williamson but he's got nothing on this kid at the moment, not to say williamson wont get there he's very talented. They are both very similar players, top order right handed batters, both off spinners so it will be interesting to see who has the better series out of these two and who has the best numbers by the end of their carears at the moment your money would be on root but we'll see.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 13, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    It would appear that Randy, a truly loyal & patriotic Aussie, is closely following the example of the Oz cricketers and not doing his homework!

    CA's cunning new method of judging the strength of the reserves, tossing a baggy green to a chap like Rob Quiney and seeing if he can do any better than Hughes, says a thing or 2 about Oz's currently very shallow pool. Quiney took very seriously his selection as Oz's new # 3, and made sure that his test average exactly matched his position in the batting order. As Hughes' test ave is 33, it is thus clearly established that the Oz reserves are 10 times worse than Hughes - a really frightening concept, but in the "New Stralia," a harsh reality!

    Even more frightening, his 9 runs on debut, Quiney were twice as much as the combined scores Warner & Ponting! Poor feller, Quiney, those were the only runs he scored in test cricket, bagging a pair in his next, and last game. A baggy green is just not what it used to be!

    About those reserves, Randy?

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Shame the rain spoilt the game somewhat but the Lions did well. Joe Root really in the zone at the moment, 3 hundreds in a row and the lowest 179 is some kind of form! Would love to see him open in the test match or at least play at number 4 above Bell

  • POSTED BY Cover_Drive_Comrade on | May 12, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Joe Root, Is My most favourite young-star-high scoring-top class and most good-looking batsman of the Years 2012-13 | The best innings OR the match where I knew he was incredible with a bat in hand was in One of the matches of the India Vs England ODI Series where he racked up his ODI Career-Best (79*)!

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    RandyOz The majority of the Lion's batting lineup would walk into the current Australian side. Clarke can't carry you forever.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | May 12, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    I don't lament Bopara doing well, although I think he was included because of Flower's favouritism. I think it's a shame that the rain arrived to deprive Bop of a chance of a 50 or more to make up for his terrible run of low scores.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | May 12, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    @randyoz, keeping in mind their ability to take a joke, that one won't go down lightly haha

    Based on this performance and keeping in mind that england should perform much better by dropping their complacency; having a break from a heavy schedule; and by having a good record in May tests, you'd think that this series won't be anywhere as near as close as the last one. Second place should beat eight regardless of those factors anywhere.

    Hopefully wagner's inclusion can change NZ's bowling, he was the backbone last series.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 12, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Tehe, RandyUK must be England's #1 fan to be the first person in the whole world to comment on a game between England's second XI against NZ in England. I guess he doesn't have much to get excited about at home.

    I'm sure many will lament Bopara doing well because it will mean that he remains a chance to return to the Test side but, given that he's already in the CT squad, it's not a bad thing that he's going in with a bit of form. Good to see Root and Bairstow both succeed but, given that they were both already in the Test squad, they didn't need to to boost their selection hopes. Taylor and Woakes, on the other hand, would both have liked to put on a better showing against international opposition.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | May 12, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Root is the only shining light for England, who have very thin reserves at the moment.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | May 12, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Root is the only shining light for England, who have very thin reserves at the moment.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | May 12, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Tehe, RandyUK must be England's #1 fan to be the first person in the whole world to comment on a game between England's second XI against NZ in England. I guess he doesn't have much to get excited about at home.

    I'm sure many will lament Bopara doing well because it will mean that he remains a chance to return to the Test side but, given that he's already in the CT squad, it's not a bad thing that he's going in with a bit of form. Good to see Root and Bairstow both succeed but, given that they were both already in the Test squad, they didn't need to to boost their selection hopes. Taylor and Woakes, on the other hand, would both have liked to put on a better showing against international opposition.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | May 12, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    @randyoz, keeping in mind their ability to take a joke, that one won't go down lightly haha

    Based on this performance and keeping in mind that england should perform much better by dropping their complacency; having a break from a heavy schedule; and by having a good record in May tests, you'd think that this series won't be anywhere as near as close as the last one. Second place should beat eight regardless of those factors anywhere.

    Hopefully wagner's inclusion can change NZ's bowling, he was the backbone last series.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | May 12, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    I don't lament Bopara doing well, although I think he was included because of Flower's favouritism. I think it's a shame that the rain arrived to deprive Bop of a chance of a 50 or more to make up for his terrible run of low scores.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    RandyOz The majority of the Lion's batting lineup would walk into the current Australian side. Clarke can't carry you forever.

  • POSTED BY Cover_Drive_Comrade on | May 12, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    Joe Root, Is My most favourite young-star-high scoring-top class and most good-looking batsman of the Years 2012-13 | The best innings OR the match where I knew he was incredible with a bat in hand was in One of the matches of the India Vs England ODI Series where he racked up his ODI Career-Best (79*)!

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Shame the rain spoilt the game somewhat but the Lions did well. Joe Root really in the zone at the moment, 3 hundreds in a row and the lowest 179 is some kind of form! Would love to see him open in the test match or at least play at number 4 above Bell

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 13, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    It would appear that Randy, a truly loyal & patriotic Aussie, is closely following the example of the Oz cricketers and not doing his homework!

    CA's cunning new method of judging the strength of the reserves, tossing a baggy green to a chap like Rob Quiney and seeing if he can do any better than Hughes, says a thing or 2 about Oz's currently very shallow pool. Quiney took very seriously his selection as Oz's new # 3, and made sure that his test average exactly matched his position in the batting order. As Hughes' test ave is 33, it is thus clearly established that the Oz reserves are 10 times worse than Hughes - a really frightening concept, but in the "New Stralia," a harsh reality!

    Even more frightening, his 9 runs on debut, Quiney were twice as much as the combined scores Warner & Ponting! Poor feller, Quiney, those were the only runs he scored in test cricket, bagging a pair in his next, and last game. A baggy green is just not what it used to be!

    About those reserves, Randy?

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | May 13, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Thought we had something special in williamson but he's got nothing on this kid at the moment, not to say williamson wont get there he's very talented. They are both very similar players, top order right handed batters, both off spinners so it will be interesting to see who has the better series out of these two and who has the best numbers by the end of their carears at the moment your money would be on root but we'll see.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | May 13, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @Noel Petty, IMO Root must bat at 6 in the ashes. Since Collingwood retired & Bell's move up the order to 5 we have not found anyone who has remotly fitted the bill until now. The top 5 looks good to me & if we have Root at 6 & Prior 7 then our batting looks as solid as it ever has.There may still be some questions marks over Compton but 2 test 100s & an ave of 40 in his first 7 tests is a more than satisfactory return, espically considering all the tests were away from home. There may already be another natural opening batman of some quality waiting in the wings in Sam Robson (As long as Aus don't nab him first) so I would certainly leave Root where he is.