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Moore pleased with opening day

England Lions
Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore has made the most of his chances on tour with the England Lions

Opener Stephen Moore was certain England Lions would be the happier of the two teams after the conclusion of the first day of the first Test against New Zealand A.

Moore was unbeaten on 42 with fellow opening batsman Robert Key 79 not out as the Lions reached 123 for no wicket on a rain-interrupted day in Queenstown.

The Worcestershire batsman revealed the pair had kept it tight at first after being put in to bat by their hosts and has no doubt the Lions would be more satisfied with the day’s efforts.

“Its been a little bit stagnated, it’s been on and off with the rain,” Moore said.

“You never know how the match is going to pan out or how the wicket is going to develop and how the weather is going to develop over the course of a four-day game.

“But I can assure you we are feeling the better of the two sides after the first day.

“We lost the toss, they put us in to bat, they used the new ball. They've bowled 30-odd overs and haven’t got a wicket so there is no doubt given the conditions and situation, we are feeling pretty good about ourselves right now.

“But, equally, it is the first day of four and there is a lot of cricket to be played over the next few days.

“We’ve done a small portion of work so far. At the moment we are feeling pretty comfortable and confident but if we switch off or relax in any way it can change so quickly.”

The pair were not distracted by the numerous rain delays and captain Key led the way with nine boundaries, bringing up his half-century off 61 deliveries.

Robert Key

Moore is pleased to be batting alongside Robert Key for the Lions, rather than attempting to dismiss him

Moore paid tribute to the Kent opener, saying: “I’ve played a lot of games against him in the last four or five years in county cricket so it is nice to be in a position where I can actually go out there and bat with him as opposed to have to try and get him out.”

New Zealand A bowler Mitchell McClenaghan failed to reproduce his efforts in the warm-up game for an Emerging Players X1 earlier this week as he was hit for 23 off four overs.

It is proving to be a successful tour for 28-year-old Moore, who made 75 and 59 in the two warm-up games on tha back of a season which saw him selected for the England Performance Programme in India.

He explained: “When I came out here I felt really relaxed. I felt I’d had to develop my game further and for whatever reason getting those runs in those warm-up games breeds a little more confidence.”

As for breaking into the Test side, Moore added: “The goal is to play for England.

“That is what I’d love to do and I would love to do well for England. I’d love to be a member that helps England go on and achieve the goals they want to achieve in the future.

“But I’m not thinking about that. I’ve not thought about that for a number of years now.

“I’m just thinking of enjoying the opportunity I’ve been given. I’ve fallen foul before of looking too far ahead, and right now I just want to enjoy New Zealand and this opportunity they have given to me."

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