England in NZ: Bowlers fail to fire as tour match ends in draw

England’s bowlers failed to impress as the two-day tour match against a New Zealand XI ended in a draw.

After reaching 285-3 on day one, the tourists finally declared on 376-5 at the Cobham Oval in Whangarei.

New Zealand under-19 batsman Finn Allen hit a classy century in reply before retiring out as his side ended on 285-5, with only England fast bowler Jofra Archer taking more than one wicket.

England’s first Test against New Zealand begins on 21 November.

With all-rounder Ben Stokes back bowling after injury prevented him from doing so in the final Ashes Test against Australia, England are expected to pick between Chris Woakes and Sam Curran for a spot in the starting XI.

Both opened the bowling and Woakes failed to take a wicket in conceding 28 runs off 10 overs, while Curran took 1-33 off nine overs.

Stuart Broad took an economical 1-15 off nine overs, Archer was expensive in claiming 2-46 off 11 overs and slow left-armer Jack Leach, leg-spinner Matt Parkinson and Stokes all could not claim a wicket.

“As a first run out, I was a little bit rusty, but with not having bowled a huge amount in the last six weeks I was relatively pleased,” Woakes told Test Match Special.

“I’d like to think I’ve got a good chance of making the Test team but there are a few other guys knocking on the door – myself and Sam played in the last Test so I suppose we’re looking at it between us.

“It’s good to have that competition – I’ll be coming out here to try and knock the door down to get in the team.”

The hosts’ Jakob Bhula made 61 before he was bowled by Curran, with Sandeep Patel adding an unbeaten 56.

Allen hit 10 fours and two sixes in a fluent knock, retiring out on 104 from 130 balls.

England Test captain Joe Root had earlier retired on 41, with Ollie Pope making 31 before Jos Buttler (38 not out) and Stokes (30 not out) set up the declaration.

England face New Zealand in two Tests but the series does not count towards the ICC World Test Championship.

The tourists continue their preparations against a more experienced New Zealand A side at the same venue in a three-day tour match, starting on Friday. BBC