England Lions v New Zealand: Joe Root hits 179 in draw
|Tour match, Leicester (day four of four):|
|New Zealand 285 drew with England Lions 444-7|
England Lions captain Joe Root celebrated his inclusion in the England Test squad by taking his score to 179 in the draw against New Zealand.
The batsman, 22, helped the Lions reach 444 for the loss of seven wickets in reply to New Zealand's first innings total of 285.
Ravi Bopara made an unbeaten 42 before rain ended the game in Leicester.
Root took his first-class tally to 646 runs for the season ahead of the first Test at Lord's this week.
It is conceivable that Root could yet become the first Englishman in 75 years, and only the sixth ever, to pass 1,000 runs by the end of May.
The last batsman to achieve the feat in an English season was Zimbabwe-born Graeme Hick in 1988, while current England Test opener Nick Compton came agonisingly close last year.
"We still need to be guarded on how much we build the lad up," England's limited-overs coach Ashley Giles said.
"He's only played a few Tests - but so far so good."
Root moved past 150 this morning in the same over that fifth-wicket partner Jonny Bairstow (68) reached his half-century .
Bairstow later fell lbw for 68, one of three victims for left-arm paceman Trent Boult.
Joined by Bopara, Root continued until seamer Doug Bracewell dislodged his off stump, ending a 276-ball innings which contained 25 fours and a six.