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2nd March 2009

Lions on Top as Davies Strikes

Centuries from Jonathan Trott and Samit Patel enabled England Lions to assume a dominant position at the midway point of the first Test against hosts New Zealand A in Queenstown.

Trott (138 not out) and Patel (101) set up a platform that allowed captain Rob Key (90) to declare on 493 for five. Mark Davies then snuck an early wicket as the hosts closed on 22 for one after seven overs. Warwickshire’s Trott and Nottinghamshire’s Patel added 164 for the third wicket following Key and Stephen Moore’s solid opening stand of 130.

England’s first pair were only able to add seven to the overnight 123, following a rain-hit first day during which only 37 overs were possible. Both fell early on as Moore was caught off seamer Brent Arnel and 10 runs later left-arm medium-pacer Mitchell McClenaghan picked up Key.

Trott and Patel set about consolidating the tourists’ advantage. Patel’s innings came from 139 balls and included 16 fours while his partner showed greater patience, hitting half that number of boundaries in 269 deliveries.Patel eventually became Arnell’s second victim before Eoin Morgan added 52 with Trott. Morgan’s steady 18 came to an end when he was bowled by McClenaghan.

Luke Wright’s brisk 55, from 50 deliveries matching Trott’s eight fours, enabled the Lions to put on a further 81 before he fell to off-spinner Kane Williamson. Wicketkeeper Ben Scott was unbeaten on 34 at a run a ball when Key closed the innings, leaving New Zealand with a tricky period to negotiate before the close.

And Durham paceman Davies gave his side the breakthrough they were looking for, removing Tim McIntosh for three as Patel completed a fine day by taking the catch.

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