Cricket: Tourists take charge

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Leicestershire 169; New Zealand 170-3

New Zealand win by seven wickets

NEW ZEALAND warmed up for the first Texaco Trophy international against England at Edgbaston tomorrow, with an easy win over Leicestershire at Grace Road. The tourists were set to score a modest 170 in yesterday's 55-overs match and romped in by seven wickets with 21 overs to spare.

The fourth-wicket pair of Adam Parore and Stephen Fleming shared a stand of 67 in nine overs, scoring 57 off 35 balls after tea, with the left-handed Fleming including two sixes and four fours in his unbeaten 35.

An opening partnership of 71 in 17 overs between Blair Hartland and Bryan Young laid the foundations, broken when the young left- arm spinner Matthew Brimson had Young smartly taken at slip by Phil Simmons for 36.

Adrian Pierson bowled Hartland and when Brimson removed Ken Rutherford cheaply to make the score 103 for 3, there was a glimpse of a breakthrough for the county. Parore and Fleming, though, slammed the door.

Leicestershire, meanwhile, were all out for 169 in 53.3 overs after being put in. Danny Morrison, New Zealand's main strike bowler, confirmed his fitness with nine lively overs which brought him 2 for 23 and the left-arm spinner Matthew Hart finished with an impressive 3 for 27 in 11 overs.

Geoff Howarth, the New Zealand manager, said: 'We have performed well in the last two matches. Now we'd like to ram the bookies' Texaco Trophy odds down their throats.' England have been quoted at 4-11 to win.