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Kiwis flying ahead of Test series

New Zealand snatched a stunning 15-run win over Worcestershire to ensure they will head into this week’s first Investec Test against England in high spirits.

Worcestershire lost their last seven wickets for just 39 runs after they had appeared on track to chase down a victory target of 246.

New Zealand have now won both warm-up matches before they head to Lord’s for the start of the Test series on Thursday.

Off-spinner Mark Craig turned the match the New Zealanders’ way with 4-56 after Worcestershire had swept to 119 for one inside 19 overs.

Off-spinner Mark Craig, centre, accepts the congratulations of his team-mates as he makes a match-winning burst for the New Zealanders

Craig, who claimed a five-wicket haul in the Black Caps’ win over Somerset last week, stopped the early enterprise of openers Richard Oliver and Daryl Mitchell.

Oliver had been especially effective with 47 from 34 balls, before he was caught by Ross Taylor, and then Mitchell was bowled for 44.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore maintained Worcestershire’s momentum with a fluent half-century, but his dismissal prompted a collapse that handed New Zealand their win.

Matt Henry completed the win, with 16 balls remaining in the game, when Ed Barnard edged to Taylor in the cordon.

Left-arm spinner Shaaiq Choudhry’s maiden senior five-wicket haul for Worcestershire had earlier prompted the New Zealand captain BJ Watling to declare at 275 for nine and set up an entertaining afternoon.

Martin Guptill continued his fine form with 150 – he hit a double-ton during his brief Championship stint with Derbyshire down the M5 at Bristol last month – but got little else support before he was caught off Charlie Morris and then Watling called his men in for what proved to be a perfectly-time declaration.

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