After putting up 375, New Zealand got off to the perfect start with the ball as Tim Southee and Matt Henry got the wickets of Dominic Sibley and Joe Denly respectively inside 10 overs. England now trail hosts by 336 runs at stumps on Day Two, with Joe Root (6*) and Rory Burns (24*) at the crease. Burns had a couple of lives in his brief innings – first dropped by Ross Taylor at first slip and then at square leg by Jeet Raval.
Resuming Day Two at a healthy position, New Zealand lost overnight batsmen Tom Latham (105) and Henry Nicholls (16) in the opening 40 minutes. First, it was Latham who left alone an incoming delivery from Stuart Broad, which crashed into his stumps – making it the 21st occasion this year where the England quick has dismissed a left-handed batsman by bowling around the wicket. A few minutes later, it was Nicholls, who hooked the ball straight to Broad at fine-leg to hand Sam Curran his first wicket of the match.
From there it was BJ Watling and debutant Daryl Mitchell who looked to weather the storm and take New Zealand to lunch without any further damage as England kept up the pressure. They did exactly that as they brought up their their fifty partnership, which would have calmed the nerves in the dressing room after losing a couple of wickets quickly.
Watling and Mitchell looked extremely comfortable even after the new ball was taken and there was a bit of swing on offer. The extended first session yielded 75 runs for the loss of two wickets.
Curran was unable to get the batsmen to commit errors in this match. His false shot percentage has been on the lower side, when compared to someone like Jofra Archer, who had forced the batsmen to commit the most errors, but did not pick up a single wicket until Mitchell Santner hit one straight down the throat of Chris Woakes, which turned out to be his only wicket of the innings.
England found no success even in the first hour post lunch. Joe Root exhausted all his bowling options, including that of part-timer Joe Denly to no avail. Mitchell went on to score his maiden Test fifty and Watling joined him soon after. The partnership which had gone past 100 beginning to frustrate England.
However, it was England’s most experienced bowler Broad, who got rid of the dangerous Watling for a patient 192-ball 55, thereby bringing an end to the 124-run stand, which is the fourth best for New Zealand against England and the second best at Seddon Park after the massive 339 runs put on by Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill against Bangladesh in 2010. Watling’s wicket came about just before tea, which was the only scalp of the middle session.
England got rid of Mitchell (73), Tim Southee (18), Mitchell Santner (23) and Neil Wagner (0) about 12 overs into the final session and New Zealand were finally bowled out for 375.
New Zealand 375 (Tom Latham 105, Daryl Mitchell 73; Stuart Broad 4 for 73, Chris Woakes 3 for 83) lead England 39 for 2 (Rory Burns 24*, Joe Root 6*; Matt Henry 1 for 10, Tim Southee 1 for 24) by 336 runs