New Zealand A v England Lions, 2nd unofficial Test, 3rd day March 9, 2009

Wright ton leaves host with massive chase

Cricinfo staff

New Zealand A 243 and 72 for 1 need another 385 runs to beat England Lions 346 and 353 for 9 (Wright 105, Trott 51)

Luke Wright hits out during his century © Getty Images

Luke Wright's brisk century carried England Lions to a massive total, and going into the final day in Lincoln the tourists were nine wickets away from claiming the series.

England resumed the day on 56 for 0 and their openers, Robert Key and Stephen Moore, extended their stand to 82 when Key (38) went lbw to Brent Arnel. Moore (41) followed shortly afterwards, the first of James Franklin's three wickets. Joe Denly - bowled for 7 driving at left-arm spinner Bruce Martin - and Samit Patel failed to get going and Jonathan Trott's dismissal for a rather fluent 60-ball 51 just after lunch left England Lions at 165 for 5.

Thats when Wright stepped up, collecting boundaries at a good clip. Against some tidy bowling, Wright still brought up his half-century and adding 117 in 28 overs with Ben Scott (47). Scott continued his good match with some powerful cuts and pulls. Though slower than Wright, Scott's effort ensured England Lions shut out the home side. Wright plundered 11 fours and a six in his 96-ball 105 - his fourth first-class century - and was ninth out at 353, lofting a catch to deep midwicket, and prompting Key to declare.

That left New Zealand A a target of 457 and 18 overs to negotiate before the close. Their chase began on a poor note with the fast bowler Mark Davies handing the home captain Jamie How his second single-digit score of the match. From 15 for 1 New Zealand were carried without further loss to stumps thanks to Aaron Redmond and Daniel Fynn, batting on 27 and 28 respectively, but the final day will need some serious stonewalling.