England Lions 280 v New Zealand: Wright times his assault perfectly to wag Lions' tail

Luke Wright brought cheer to the England selectors for the second time in a week yesterday when he struck a sparkling hundred for the England Lions against New Zealand in Southampton. On Wednesday Wright revealed that he had turned down a lucrative approach to play in the Indian Premier League so that he could focus on playing for England, and he enhanced his chances of achieving that goal considerably by producing the Lions only notable performance of the day.

It was just as well Wright, who was eventually out for 120, rose to the occasion because the remaining members of the Lions' top order, all equally keen to impress Geoff Miller, the watching national selector, ahead of next week's first Test, failed miserably. Without the Sussex all-rounder's input, the hosts would have ended the day in an embarrassing position against a disciplined yet unspectacular New Zealand attack. Chris Martin and Jacob Oram were the pick of the Black Caps bowlers, sharing six wickets as the Lions were bowled out for 280.

England are hoping that Wright will develop into a player who could replace Andrew Flintoff. His bowling is unlikely to match that of the Lancashire all-rounder but his striking of the ball is already the equal of him.

The Lions were crawling along at just over two runs an over yesterday when Matthew Prior drove carelessly to gully. However Wright immediately injected much needed impetus to the innings, fearlessly going after the Black Caps attack. He had one moment of good fortune, when Jamie How dropped him at mid-wicket on 28. His hundred, the third of his first-class career, was brought up in spectacular and fitting style when he hit Tim Southee over deep square leg for six. He was out smashing the same bowler to extra cover, ending the Lions innings.

When Robert Key, the Lions captain, won the toss he would have expected more members of his ambitious side to fill their boots. The notion would have remained with him throughout the morning session as he and Michael Carberry successfully negotiated the new ball. But the nature of the day changed immediately after lunch when Martin trapped Key plumb in front and Owais Shah edged a Martin delivery through to Brendon McCullum.

Ravi Bopara went for just seven, bowled by Southee, and Prior played a couple of sweet shots before driving loosely to gully. Carberry chipped a catch to mid-on. Adil Rashid gave Wright brief support before driving carelessly to extra cover and Oram's accuracy proved too much for Graeme Swann and Chris Tremlett.

Matthew Hoggard enjoyed himself, adding 77 with Wright for the ninth wicket, but it will be his bowling today that decides whether he is in contention for a Test place at Lord's.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments