Jos Buttler, Ollie Pope find form for England in tour game against NZ A

England batsman Joe Denly proved his fitness after scoring one of England's three half-centuries on the penultimate day of their final warm-up before next week's first Test against New Zealand.

Jos Buttler. Source: Photosport

Denly made 68 to lead a recovery to 355-8 after New Zealand A had reduced the tourists to 105-5 at lunch.

He was returning from an ankle injury that threatened to rule him out of the entire tour

Jos Buttler will resume tomorrow 13 short of his hundred while Ollie Pope made 88 after being caught behind off a no-ball on seven.

Captain Joe Root and deputy Ben Stokes were dismissed by Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham respectively for single figure scores.

The first Test between the Black Caps and England begins on Thursday at Mount Maunganui.