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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower