Queenstown: Test wicketkeeper BJ Watling made an unbeaten 89 on Saturday to lead a New Zealand XI to a three-wicket win over England in a four-day tour match. England declared their second innings at their overnight total of 256 for 9, setting the New Zealand XI 334 in 90 overs to win the match at the Queenstown Events Center.
Watling formed partnerships of 82 for the sixth wicket with Corey Anderson (44), 46 for the seventh wicket with Jimmy Neesham (20) and 52, unbroken, for the eighth wicket with Neil Wagner (28 not out), to guide New Zealand to victory. South African-born fast bowler Wagner received a call-up to the New Zealand squad for the first Test which starts at Dunedin on Wednesday after taking six wickets in the match.
England made 426 in their first innings, led by Ian Bell's 158, and took a 77-run lead when the New Zealand XI declared at 349 for 7. Wicketkeeper Matt Prior top-scored with 68 in England's second innings of 256 for 9 but their bowlers were unable to contain the New Zealand XI as they chased their winning target.
Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Joe Root all took two wickets for England who stood down the Test new ball pair of James Anderson and Steven Finn. Some of the England batsman, notably Bell, Prior and captain Alastair Cook who made 60 and 24 capitalized on the chance for batting practice ahead of the first Test.
But top-order batsmen Nick Compton, who made 21 and 1, and Kevin Pietersen, who made 14 and 8, failed to take advantage of their only chance to bat in New Zealand conditions ahead of the test at the University Oval.
England may now have to decide whether to retain Compton as an opening batsman in their Test lineup or hand that role to the youngster Root, who had scores of 49 and 17.