Joe Root scores century for England in tour match against New Zealand XI
Last Updated: 17/03/18 2:51pm
Joe Root scored a century against a New Zealand XI as England's top-order batsmen finished their preparations for a two-match Test series in encouraging fashion.
The England captain dropped himself to number six in the order, but scored 115 on the final day of the second tour match at Hamilton's Seddon Park - after an unbeaten half-century against the pink ball in the first.
Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan posted scores of 48 and 45 respectively but incumbent Test number three James Vince fell for five, lbw on the back foot to Logan van Beek, as he took his tally of runs to 50 from three attempts in this week's back-to-back fixtures.
England closed on 353-9 on their second designated batting day, Root having hit 17 fours in his 135-ball century.
Ben Stokes, who made 27 at number five, showed his stiff back is making encouraging progress by bowling gently in the outfield prior to the day's play.
Fellow all-rounder Moeen Ali managed to bowl 21 overs on day one, without apparent hindrance to the spinning finger which troubled him during this winter's Ashes and over previous years.
"It always seems to crack at some stage," he told Sky Sports. "But it's not really happened for a while until Australia ... it's not too bad."
Moeen has also felt pain in his shoulder, not when bowling but throwing in from the deep.
"It's more my shoulder has been a little bit sore," he said, adding he does not expect his finger to stop him bowling in next week's first Test in Auckland - where the pink ball, for the day-night match, has a less pronounced seam.
"I think I'll get through this series, and I'll be fine - because the first one is pink ball, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to get any worse.
"I think it's just the red Kookaburra ball - the seam seems to be a lot sharper."
Moeen is pleased by England's collective improvement with bat and ball this week and said: "As a team, I think on the first two days we were a little bit behind... just getting overs in the legs and in the field.
"A couple of guys hadn't played for a while, so it was just getting back into it. Then I think the main message was to get the intensity up over the last two days."
Watch England take on New Zealand in the first of two Test matches live on Sky Sports Cricket from 12.30am on Thursday, March 22.