Martin Guptill is likely to be included in New Zealand playing eleven for the first Test against England © Getty Images
Martin Guptill is likely to be included in New Zealand playing eleven for the first Test against England © Getty Images

London: Martin Guptill‘s impressive sequence of big scores continued as New Zealand beat Worcestershire by 15 runs on Sunday in their final warm-up match before next week’s first Test against England at Lord’s. The opener, 61 not out overnight, went on to make 150 in New Zealand’s second innings total of 275 for nine declared on the fourth and final day at Worcestershire’s New Road headquarters.

Guptill batted for more than four-and-a-half hours, facing 210 balls including 15 fours and three sixes. But his innings won’t count in his first-class record after this match was stripped of that status following the tourists’ request to field more than 11 players in what was just their second warm-up match before the opening match of a two-Test series.

The 28-year-old opener was the leading run-scorer at the recent one-day World Cup, where New Zealand reached the final before losing to co-hosts Australia. His tally of 547 runs included a remarkable 237 not out against the West Indies — the highest individual score in the tournament’s 40-year history — during a quarter-final win in Wellington.

Last month, Guptill scored a maiden first-class double century, making 227 off just 176 balls for English county Derbyshire against Gloucestershire. But the Auckland batsman has not played Test cricket, in which he averages a modest 29.62, since winning the last of his 31 caps in the five-day game during New Zealand’s last tour of England two years ago.

Worcestershire, chasing 246 for victory, were well-placed at 208 for four. But the county’s last six wickets fell for 22 runs as they collapsed to 230 all out, with off-spinner Mark Craig (four for 56) and fast bowler Matt Henry (three for 58) doing the bulk of the damage.