England Lions v New Zealanders, The Rose Bowl, 4th day May 11, 2008

How and Redmond seal draw

Cricinfo staff

New Zealanders 273 (Redmond 146) and 201 for 4 (How 74, Redmond 64, Rashid 3-63) drew with England Lions 280 (Wright 120) and 360 for 8 dec (Carberry 108, Swann 52)

Aaron Redmond made 64 in the second innings to follow up his 146 earlier in the match against England Lions © Getty Images
Aaron Redmond completed an impressive build-up to the first Test against England with 64 to go alongside his first-innings 146 as the New Zealanders secured a draw against England Lions at The Rose Bowl. Redmond added 150 with Jamie How before Adil Rashid caused a brief flutter with three quick wickets.

Robert Key declared to leave a target of 368 off 75 overs, but that was never really in the equation. Unlike in the first innings the Lions attack couldn't make any inroads with the new ball as Matthew Hoggard went wicketless in a six-over spell the day he was recalled to the England squad.

Redmond and How made steady progress on an easy-paced pitch and the Lions quickly turned to the spin pair of Rashid and Graeme Swann. How's 74 was an important innings after a duck in the first innings and two single-figure scores against Essex last week. Redmond, however, is striking form at just the right time with New Zealand's top order set for a testing time at Lord's.

He reached his fifty with a slog-swept six off Swann and had time to complete a second century when he lofted Rashid to Hoggard. His wicket prompted a small stumble by the New Zealanders as Rashid enjoyed his most productive spell of the match. Rashid had How stumped before trapping Ross Taylor for a fourth-ball duck; Taylor's four innings since arriving for the tour from the IPL have been 17, 4, 5 and 0.

Despite the flurry of wickets there wasn't time for the Lions to make a serious charge at victory, even though Chris Tremlett trapped James Marshall lbw shortly before the match ended. Key could have given his bowlers a few more overs to dismiss the tourists on a surface where runs only flowed quickly when Luke Wright was at the crease on the first day, and briefly on the final day when the Lions flung the bat. However, except when New Zealand took five wickets between lunch and tea on the opening day, wickets hadn't fallen in a rush. With the England squad already named, the pace bowlers won't have wanted to over-exert themselves with more Championship matches next week for their counties.

Michael Carberry was able to resume his century following the early departure of Rashid in the morning session. He had to retire hurt on the third day after pulling up with severe cramp during the celebrations for his hundred, but he only added a further eight before being caught behind off Tim Southee. Swann flung the bat with good effect in his 41-ball 51 while Tremlett also added quick runs.

The major positive to come out of the match for the New Zealanders is the performance of Redmond. The opening position has been a long-standing problem, but Redmond's resilience suggests he won't be pushover come the first Test and he has a good chance of surpassing his father's one cap. Chris Martin also found some useful rhythm in both innings, but some of the other batsmen, notably Taylor, Daniel Flynn and Jacob Oram are short of time in the middle. There are also lingering concerns over Daniel Vettori's finger, although the motivation of leading his team at Lord's should allow him to overcome the pain barrier.