James Anderson and Jack Leach took three wickets apiece as England firmly controlled the second Test against New Zealand.
England resumed day two on 315-3 at Wellington’s Basin Reserve and lost Harry Brooke for 186 early, but Joe Root’s 14th Test score of 150+ helped them keep going before they declared on 435-8 late in the morning.
Anderson then made some early forays claiming the wickets of both Devon Conway and Kane Williamson to see off the Black Caps 12-2 at lunch and picked up another in the afternoon along with three for Jack Leach as the home side slumped to 96-6 at tea.
Stuart Broad then swung into action after tea with a simple catch and bowling to dismiss Michael Bracewell, with New Zealand seven down and still 297 runs behind England’s openers’ total with the follow-on inching closer when rain again caused an early end to the day’s play.
The story of the day
All eyes were on whether Brook could go on and make his first double century in any form of cricket, but he could only add two to his overnight total before being caught and bowled by Matt Henry in the third over day.
A quick knock of 27 off 28 balls from Ben Stokes followed, only for the captain to fumble a stroke and be caught by substitute Scott Kugelein at mid-off while attempting another attacking shot from Neil Wagner, and was soon in again in the Ben Foakes booth.
The keeper lasted just five balls before he was dismissed in strange circumstances without troubling the scorer, slipped and stumped by the ever-alert Tom Blundell off the bowling of Michael Bracewell.
Brycewell then trapped Stuart Broad lbw for 14 just before the new ball became available to New Zealand and Henry secured his fourth wicket when Ollie Robinson (18) hit him straight to Black Caps skipper Tim Southee after he was dropped by Blundell the previous ball. .
However, Root was commanding at the other end, breaking the shot on a couple of occasions and eventually finishing on 153 not out. The 10th over of his innings took the right-hander to that score and immediately brought the statement from Stokes.
Anderson, who returned to the top of the ICC bowling rankings on the back of his performance in the first Test, then struck twice before the lunch interval.
A shrewd review from Stokes, after Conway was initially not given out to the opener, saw the right-hander get the slightest edge on Fawkes, letting him go for a duck, followed by Williamson (four) setting the pattern at the wicketkeeper as well.
New Zealand vs England – day two score summary
England 435-8d from 87.1 overs: Brook (186 off 176 balls), Root (153 not out off 224); Henry (4-100).
New Zealand 138-7 from 42 overs: Latham (35 off 76 balls), Nicholls (30 off 38); Anderson (3-37), Leach (3-45).
Leach puts the Black Caps on a spin
The Anderson-Foakes combination bowled Will Young in the second over after play resumed as well, seeing him depart for two, but Henry Nicholls with opener Tom Latham at the crease saw New Zealand begin to rebuild their innings.
However, it was spinner Leach who made the breakthrough in the 21st over as Latham was adjudged by TV umpire Aleem Dar to have had a light touch with his glove on a ball that popped to Root as he tried to reverse-sweep, leading to him. drops to 35.
There could be no question of Nicholls’ dismissal for 30 four overs later, however, as he also attempted the reverse sweep from the England left-armer and succumbed to a superb diving catch from near-fielder Ollie Pope.
Pope then looked set to take a second good catch on the last ball before tea as Daryl Mitchell (13) stepped forward to defend one from Leach and instead pushed it straight to the fielder.
Black Caps skipper Southee (23 not out) decided to go on the attack in the evening and hit two sixes, but Bracewell’s departure ensured the hosts ended the day on 138-7 when rain curtailed the action for a second day. in a row.
England “must earn the right” to force the follow-on
England batsman Joe Root, speaking to BT Sport…
“Before the new ball, I felt like it was a really important moment to try and take advantage of. I felt like it was a calculated risk to be a bit more aggressive at the start and really push the game forward going into the new ball.
“We lost a couple of wickets but managed to keep scoring at a decent pace. He was trying to be unpredictable and find it difficult for set fields to know what we were trying to do, but keeping that pace at a canter meant we were in a position we wanted to be in when it came to bowling.
“Of course there will be people who will think about it [enforcing the follow-on]but we’ve got to earn the right to do that and get those few wickets before we make that decision…We’ve got to be smart in the morning and figure out how we can better try to finish things off in those innings, and I’m I’m sure Ben will have an idea of what he wants to do.”
Follow England’s second and final Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Sky Sports’ digital platforms, with coverage continuing from 9.30pm on Saturday night.