Queenstown: Ian Bell made an unbeaten 127 on Wednesday to lead England to 357 for 7 on the first day of a four-day tour match against a New Zealand XI. Bell batted for almost five hours, facing 196 balls and hitting 18 fours to steer the England innings after the visitors were sent in to bat.
Captain Alastair Cook made 60 at the top of the order and Bell shared partnerships of 97 with Joe Root (49) and 60 with Matt Prior (41).
Kevin Pietersen made only 14 in his first innings in New Zealand as England prepared for the first Test which starts at Dunedin on March 6. Jimmy Neesham was the best of the New Zealand XI bowlers, taking 4 for 65.
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