Ingram and Diamanti set up win for New Zealand A
New Zealand A 373 for 6 (Ingram 135, Stewart 59, McCullum 50*, Napier 3-74) beat England Lions 338 (Trott 94, Napier 77, Mason 3-61, Diamanti 3-74) by 35 runs
The pitch at Fitzherbert Park behaved in much the same way as the tracks used for the ODI series between India and New Zealand, playing host to a run-fest in which over 700 runs were scored. England Lions fought hard in pursuit of New Zealand A's mammoth 373 for 6, but seamers Brendon Diamanti and Michael Mason took three wickets each to help the hosts win by 35 runs in the first unofficial ODI.
England Lions were well within reach of their target after Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan - who has represented Ireland in 21 ODIs - added 129 for the fourth wicket. At 226 for 3 in the 37th over, a win still seemed possible but England Lions then lost three wickets for 45 in under five overs to let it slip. However, Essex allrounder Graham Napier led a late resurgence, bludgeoning 77 in just 41 balls, including nine fours and three sixes, to give New Zealand A a serious scare, but a double-strike by Diamanti triggered another collapse where four wickets were lost for 22, sealing a win for the home team.
Opener Peter Ingram spearheaded New Zealand A's innings with an aggressive 135 and was involved in a 97-run fourth-wicket stand with half-centurion Shanan Stewart to lay the foundation for a substantial score. Nathan McCullum, brother of Brendon, and Diamanti then dealt some lusty blows, adding 73 runs in just 26 balls to ensure their team's eventual score was just about adequate for their bowlers to defend.
The two teams played the second one-dayer at the same venue on March 16.