Apr 182013
 

Strauss stakes his claim

Strauss: Timely century

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Andrew Strauss staked his claim for an England Test recall by scoring a century as England batted out the final day of their three-day warm up match against a New Zealand Select XI.

Ian Bell also scored a timely century before rain brought an early end to proceedings with England on 325-7, 185 runs ahead of the hosts.

Resuming on 55 overnight Strauss started positively, striking two early boundaries against seamer Mark Gillespie.

Unbeaten on 21 at the start of play, Bell was more speculative in his approach but hit his ninth boundary of the match brought up his half-century before lunch.

Landmarks

After the interval Strauss crashed seamer Iain O’Brien through the covers to bring up his first three figure knock since scoring 116 against Pakistan at Headingley in August 2006.

The Middlesex opener, batting at number three in this game, retired at the end of the over on 104 to allow one-day captain Paul Collingwood some time in the middle.

But the Durham all-rounder failed to take advantage of the opportunity and chipped to mid-wicket for a fourth-ball duck.

Tim Ambrose came in and hit a sprightly 33 before being bowled by O’Brien off a bottom edge and Yorkshire’s Matthew Hoggard then edged low to slip for a 10-ball duck.

But Bell would not be beaten and brought up his century with another cover drive for four off O’Brien, one of 15 fours and a six included in his hundred.

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