ENGLAND 'A' and North Island played out their expected draw in freezing conditions in Christ-church today but not before Worcestershire's Vikram Solanki turned in another fine batting performance.

Set a token 267 to win in a minimum 43 overs, the hosts never appeared to contemplate the run chase and the captains shook hands half an hour before the scheduled close with North Island on 97-2.

Earlier Solanki livened up the morning session, reaching 78 from 97 balls, to put England on their way to a total of 301-7 declared.

At the other end Michael Gough became bogged down as he sought his first 50 of the tour, taking over two hours to reach his landmark total and eventually, like Solanki, falling on 78.

After Solanki had departed lbw, wickets began to tumble until David Sales steadied the ship with a cool 19 and Paul Franks hung around at the end for eight.

Touring left-arm spinner Michael Davies took both North Island wickets before time was called and steady rain reinforced the timeliness of the conclusion.

Meanwhile, Worcestershire's new paceman Glenn McGrath took his Test career tally of wickets to 250 when he claimed 2-34 on the opening day of Australia's second Test against Pakistan in Hobart.

Pakistan were all out for 222 and Australia 29-0 at the close.