Major Association XI v England XI

New Zealand v England 2007-08

At University Oval, Dunedin, February 28, 29, March 1, 2008. Drawn. Toss: New Zealand Major Association XI.

England's final warm-up got off to a dreadful start - by the end of the first day, the home side were 46 ahead with six wickets standing - but they gradually turned it round as Harmison made sure of his Test place with four wickets in an unbroken ten-over spell and Strauss fought off Owais Shah's challenge in a four-hour hundred. On the opening day, England were all out 40 minutes after lunch, and only Pietersen got past 19. Their efforts looked even more feeble when How and Matthew Bell cruised to 98 in 25 overs. But once Harmison found his rhythm next day, the last six wickets fell for 52, and second time round England's middle order thrived. Strauss, who had spent the last few weeks playing one-day cricket for Northern Districts, put on 90 with Pietersen and 125 with Ian Bell, who also reached his century before rain ended play on the final afternoon. Tremlett left the field with a side strain on the second day, and flew home afterwards.

Close of play: First day, New Zealand Major Association XI 177-4 (Sinclair 14, Elliott 13); Second day, England XI 155-3 (Strauss 55, Bell 21).

© John Wisden & Co.