WORCESTERSHIRE'S Vikram Solanki completed a fine half-century against New Zealand 'A' today.

He helped put England 'A' in a strong position when rain brought a premature end to the second day of the second Test against the Kiwiws in Wellington -- but it should have been so much better.

The tourists reached 235-7 for a first-innings lead of 80 but captain Mark Alleyne will probably feel his side wasted an opportunity to bat the Kiwis out of the match.

However, the exception was David Sales, who came in at number six and proceeded to give the innings some impetus with a sparkling 60 not out.

The morning session had seen two wickets fall to strokes that will not be remembered with any lasting affection by their perpetrators.

Solanki looked on the way to a big score when he reached his half-century but then thrashed a long hop straight to point and was out for 54.

Marcus Trescothick joined Solanki in the pavilion after he hooked precisely to long leg with his score on 43.

Alleyne touched a Chris Drum delivery behind when on 38 and waited for a decision that was a long time coming.

Then Rob Turner, not enjoying his best form with the bat, had made just a single when he was bamboozled by off-spinner Paul Wiseman. Chris Schofield (16) was caught behind cutting the same bowler and England appear to have missed out on the chance of building a substantial and invincible lead.

Much will depend on Sales tomorrow. He played positively from the outset and was racing along, despatching anything that was not of a line or length.

n Shane Warne thrashed his way to 65 not out as Australia, resuming on 298-5, boosted their first innings score to a formidable 392-6 by lunch against India in Adelaide.

At the other end, captain Steve Waugh moved sedately to an unconquered 144.