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Southee injury overshadows NZ vs England Lions

Doug Bracewell bowls during day three of the tour match between England Lions and New Zealand. Photo / Getty
Doug Bracewell bowls during day three of the tour match between England Lions and New Zealand. Photo / Getty

A foot injury to Tim Southee overshadowed a rain-affected third day between New Zealand and the England Lions at Leicester.

The Lions added 96 runs and lost two wickets moving to 315 for four, a lead of 30, before rain took centre stage at Grace Road after 22 overs. Joe Root is 145 and Jonny Bairstow is 43 - both Yorkshiremen had earlier been named in the England test squad. Root now has 610 first-class runs this season at 203.33.

Southee will be rested for the remainder of the match after bowling five overs without success overnight. He added to a workout of 14 overs on the second day when he took one wicket.

A specialist is assessing the injury. New Zealand coach Mike Hesson remains confident of Southee's availability for the first test starting Thursday night (New Zealand time).

With Southee incapacitated, it was reassuring for New Zealand fans that Trent Boult should find more rhythm after initially struggling in the Lions innings.

He bowled a six over spell, taking two wickets for 24 runs. That was blown out by 17 runs off the last two overs. Boult got the ball to move back in to the right-handers and found the edge for his wickets of Chris Wright and James Taylor with deliveries which held their line.

Meanwhile New Zealand will prepare for the one-day series and the Champions Trophy with two warm-up matches in Northampton.

The squad, minus players involved in the second test at Leeds, will play a selection XI on May 24 and 27.

Hesson says the squad will head to Britain four days earlier than planned to thoroughly prepare for English conditions.

- Herald on Sunday

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