Hamish Rutherford has all but cemented the vacant opening role in the Black Caps for the first Test against England in Dunedin next week.
Rutherford top scored with 90 as the New Zealand XI reached 224 for six at the end of day two in reply to England's 426 all out, with Test keeper BJ Watling unbeaten on 26 at stumps.
The late wickets of Dean Brownlie, who was out for 63 edging Jonathon Trott, and Jimmy Neesham, out LBW to Swann for no score, certainly put a dampener on an encouraging day for the fringe New Zealand squad. .
But the selectors will be happy with the fact that Rutherford and Test players, Brownlie and Watling, got valuable time at the batting crease.
"It was very pleasing to spend some time [at the crease] against the [England] bowlers," Rutherford told ONE News.
"I hadn't had a look at [Graeme] Swann, so it was quite good to spend some time facing him and [Graeme] Onions as well so yeah it is very pleasing going into next week."
On a good batting wicket, the son of former New Zealand captain Ken hit 13 fours and one six and looked set for his fifth first class century before he was bowled playing back to a Chris Noakes delivery which kept low.
"It is a big step up from Plunket Shield, these bowlers just hammer away all day and give you nothing so that's the big difference," Rutherford said.
Rutherford is in direct competition with Todd Latham for an opening berth but it was the latter who all but kissed his chances of a Test debut goodbye when he was caught LBW to Graeme Swann for 16.
Auckland batsman Carl Cachopa went soon after for six when he edged Stuart Broad to Swann at second slip.
The dismissal of Neil Broom (14), who was run-out after some good work from Kevin Pietersen, had the New Zealand XI teetering at 94 for three before Rutherford and Brownlie steadied the ship with a 81-run partnership.
After resuming on 357/7 this morning, England's Bell made his way through to 150, before the New Zealand bowlers cleaned up the tail with Bell eventually dismissed for 158.
Somewhat surprisingly Neesham ended up with the best figures of the bowlers with 4/73, while Neil Wagner was also effective with 4/98, which enhanced his Test claims.
ENGLAND First Innings
AN Cook c BJ Watling b N Wagner 60
NRD Compton c BJ Watling b JDS Neesham 21
IJL Trott c BJ Watling b JDS Neesham 1
KP Pietersen c HD Rutherford b JDS Neesham 14
IR Bell c sub (MD Rae) b N Wagner 158
JE Root b Carl Cachopa 49
MJ Prior c JS Patel b JDS Neesham 41
CR Woakes c sub (MD Rae) b N Wagner 16
SCJ Broad c TWM Latham b MR Gillespie 14
GP Swann c sub (MD Rae) b N Wagner 27
G Onions not out 3
Extras (lb 6, wd 4, nb 12) 22
Total (for 10 wickets, 103.2 overs) 426
Fall: 1-45 (NRD Compton, 12.4), 2-65 (IJL Trott, 16.2), 3-81 (KP Pietersen, 24.6), 4-124 (AN Cook, 35.1), 5-221 (JE Root, 60.4), 6-281 (MJ Prior, 72.2), 7-318 (CR Woakes, 84.4), 8-384 (SCJ Broad, 96.1), 9-415 (GP Swann, 99.6), 10-426 (IR Bell, 103.2)
Bowling: MR Gillespie 23-2-112-1 (1w, 11nb), N Wagner 26.2-5-98-4 (1w, JDS Neesham 20-2-73-4 (2w, CJ Anderson 8-4-16-0, JS Patel 14-1-81-0, Carl Cachopa 12-1-40-1 (1nb)
NEW ZEALAND XI First Innings
TWM Latham lbw b GP Swann 16
HD Rutherford b CR Woakes 90
Carl Cachopa c GP Swann b SCJ Broad 6
NT Broom run out (KP Pietersen) 14
DG Brownlie c MJ Prior b IJL Trott 63
BJ Watling not out 26
JDS Neesham lbw b GP Swann 0
Extras (lb 7, wd 1, nb 1) 9
Total (for 6 wickets, 73.5 overs) 224
Fall: 1-56 (TWM Latham, 13.1), 2-63 (Carl Cachopa, 14.4), 3-94 (NT Broom, 24.1), 4-175 (HD Rutherford, 53.1), 5-223 (DG Brownlie, 72.6), 6-224 (JDS Neesham, 73.5)
Bowling: SCJ Broad 15-3-35-1, G Onions
16-1-75-0 (1nb), CR Woakes 15-4-46-1, GP Swann 16.5-5-36-2, IJL
Trott 7-2-17-1 (1w, JE Root 4-2-8-0