Eng Lions 280 & 275-5, New Zealand 273 (Eng Lions lead by 282 runs): Carberry hits century but celebrations cut short

There are much greater challenges ahead for England than the first Test series of the summer, against New Zealand. Without detailed research or the presence of Bangladesh, it is difficult to think of a lesser one.

In both the batting and bowling departments (if not fielding) the tourists are lacking experience and talent. Three days of gentle sparring against the England Lions – the Pussycats on the strength of their cautious batting – is no yardstick, but it was difficult to discern anything that, over the course of a three-match series, will be sufficiently influential for them.

As they invariably have done since they first set foot on these shores 77 years ago, New Zea-land will play above themselves, adding up to a sum greater than their parts. But they would have to defy arithmetical logic to an unimaginable degree to winthe Test rubber.

If their captain, Daniel Vettori, is forced to miss the match at Lord's because of the cut in his left index finger, they will be at a greater disadvantage. Vettori's left-arm spin offers them potential control at one end, and the nous he has learned from 80 Test matches will be impossible to replace. The odds are that he will play. He must.

England will make the appropriate noises about respecting the opposition, as they should, but if they do not win comfortably, all the talk of progress can be judged hot air.

The Lions brand, marketed with zest, has yet completely to prove its worth. Theoretically, the England second string is important, because it gives players on the verge of selection the opportunity of playing alongside their peers. For touring sides, it means proper opposition.

Yet the present true status of such matches can perhaps be gauged simply by the strip on which it is being played – on the outer edge of a large square rather than in the showpiece middle areas. If it has been a pleasant match, played competitively, there has been little urgency, no sense that players were playing for their futures, even though it was clear they have been trying to impress.

The Lions took an age to remove the New Zealanders' final wicket, especially embarrassing since one of the batsmen was Chris Martin, a cricketer born to bat at No 12. In the event, he faced 28 balls, all of which failed to dislodge him, and the man to go was Aaron Redmond after a career-best 146.

Redmond, 28, was a surprising choice for this tour, but he will definitely open at Lord's. His father, Rodney, played one Test for New Zealand in 1973, making 107 and 58, and was never picked again. What riches they must have had then.

The Lions began their second innings with some intent. Their captain, Robert Key, played a couple of handsome drives before he was adjudged leg before, to his evident astonishment. Too high, perhaps. The side pootled along after that like a Sunday-afternoon driver.

Owais Shah put his foot down occasionally, Ravi Bopara was thinking of doing so. But they got out while Michael Carberry,especially studious in the early part of his innings, stayed in. Carberry had a good Lions tour in the winter and scored two hundreds. Presumably he wished to restate his credentials as a man to occupy the crease. His first 50 took 131 balls, at which point he was emboldened. His next 50 took a mere 57 balls. He damaged a hamstring – later saidto be only cramp – and was removed by stretcher. What larks.

Shah is a known quantity, but should Paul Collingwood's shoulder rule him out of the Test, England will need a batsman who can bowl seam. Although Luke Wright made a century in the first innings of this match, the fact is he bats only at seven for Sussex. Bopara, who has had a romping start to the summer, would be advised to keep the mobile switched on.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on