London: Joe Root maintained his case for inclusion in the England team to play New Zealand in the first Test at Lord's next week by scoring 179 for the second-string England Lions in a draw against the tourists at Grace Road on Sunday.
Root, the Lions captain, was named Saturday in a 12-man squad for the first of a two-Test series which culminates later this month at the Yorkshire batsman's Headingley home ground. The measure of Root's prolific start to the season was that his six-and-a-quarter-hour 179 was his second lowest score in a tally of 646 runs in four innings.
Root's Yorkshire colleague Jonathan Bairstow, also in the Test squad, made 68 before he fell leg before wicket to seamer Trent Boult on the fourth and final day on Sunday. Root's lengthy innings was ended when Doug Bracewell beat his forward defensive shot to knock over his off stump.
All-rounder Ravi Bopara added an unbeaten 42 but a match affected by bad weather ended in stalemate with the Lions making 444 for seven in reply to New Zealand's first innings 285.