England Lions 280 New Zealand 261-9: Tremlett outshines rivals to press Test return claim

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The Independent Online

Chris Tremlett emerged from a disappointing winter to press his claims for an England recall with an eye-catching display for the Lions against New Zealand.

The Hampshire seamer endured a frustrating winter with injuries and, despite impressing in three Tests against India last summer, appeared to have slipped back in the England pecking order. But with Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison having been dropped during the series in New Zealand, competition for places has intensified ahead of next week's first Test against the Kiwis.

And given an opportunity to face the tourists for the England Lions at the Rose Bowl this week, Tremlett looked the most accomplished of the seamers. He claimed two early wickets to leave the Kiwis, playing their final warm-up match before the start of the npower Test series, struggling on 47 for three in reply to the Lions' first-innings 280.

Tremlett then returned with the second new ball to dismiss all-rounder Jacob Oram as New Zealand reached 261 for nine before the close of the second day.

While Tremlett flourished, Hoggard struggled but did rescue a frustrating day with three late wickets with the second new ball.

Given the first new ball at the start of the day, Hoggard was outbowled by emerging Durham seamer Graham Onions, who claimed a wicket with his second ball when he earned an lbw verdict against the opener Jamie How.

Onions' breakthrough was followed up by Tremlett, who was brought into the attack as a replacement for Hoggard and tempted Jamie Marshall into fending a short ball straight to Luke Wright at short leg. Tremlett also induced Ross Taylor, New Zealand's best batsman against England during the winter, into edging behind for five.

While the other members of the top order may be struggling for runs before Lord's, Aaron Redmond showed a determined application to hit his fifth first-class century.

He batted all day to reach an unbeaten 139, his highest score, and shared a 77-run stand with Brendon McCullum which threatened to put the tourists in control, but with McCullum, who is leading the side in place of injured captain Daniel Vettori, in sight of his half-century he was involved in a mix-up over a single and was run out by Michael Carberry's direct hit.

Dejected after running out his side's leading player, Redmond made amends by reaching his own half-century and then survived being hit on the helmet by a short ball from Tremlett. He recovered to reach a century,having been dropped on 97 by Graeme Swann at second slip. He went on to surpass his previous best first-class score of 135 and put New Zealand on course for a first innings lead.

Hoggard had to wait until the 85th over for his first success when Jeetan Patel edged to second slip. He followed up by removing Tim Southee and Iain O'Brien to leave the tourists trailing by 19 runs.