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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Bell anchors England to solid first day against NZ XI

Bell anchors England to solid first day against NZ XI

February 27, 2013 12:12 IST

Ian Bell stroked an unbeaten century as England amassed an impressive 357 for seven at the end of the first day of their match against a New Zealand XI in Queenstown on Wednesday.

Bell (127 not out) anchored the innings after England lost three wickets before lunch, with Kevin Pietersen dismissed for 14, as the visitors were reduced to 81 for three. All three wickets fell to Otago allrounder Jimmy Neesham.

Ian BellBell joined captain Alastair Cook, who fell shortly after for 60, before the Warwickshire right-hander combined with Joe Root (49) and with test wicketkeeper Matt Prior (41) to solidify the innings.

The four-day match is the only warm-up England's test team will receive before their three-match series against New Zealand begins at Dunedin's University Oval on March 6.

England pace bowlers James Anderson and Steve Finn were both rested for the match at Queenstown Events Centre, while opening batsman Nick Compton and pace bowler Graham Onions were included to give them match practice ahead of the test series.

Neesham finished the day with figures of four for 65 in 17 overs.

Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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