Kiwis cruise to 303-2
New Zealand's top order rode an easy pitch and some luck to knock off 303-2 and trail England by 86 runs on the second day of the first Test at Lord's yesterday.
A century opening stand by Martin Guptill and Tom Latham (59), followed by another century partnership between No. 3 Kane Williamson and No. 4 Ross Taylor, three of whom scored half-centuries, ensured New Zealand rubbed out the intimidation factor of England's total of 389.
In fact, with the luxury of a deep batting line-up, and wicketkeeper BJ Watling receiving extended rest for his badly bruised right knee, New Zealand were in position to think of a decent first-innings lead.
"We've got eight wickets in hand, and we're not too far behind now," Guptill said. "Hopefully, we can go big, bat just the once, and our bowlers can rock and roll them."
At stumps, Williamson was 92 not out, closing in on his 10th Test century, and Taylor on 47.
While the second day wasn't as riveting as the first, the Kiwis turned the table on England with batting that was focused and fast-paced, dishing back what England gave them on day one.
Guptill, in scoring 70, showed why he was playing his first Test since New Zealand's last tour here two years ago. The Cricket World Cup leading run scorer hit a double century in the English county championship and 150 in a warm-up match. Latham didn't feature in the World Cup, but the established opener playing his 11th Test was happy to be a rock while Guptill attacked.
They both had lives. On 24, Guptill was caught at first slip, but video replay showed newcomer Mark Wood overstepped. After lunch, Latham was dropped on 21, his edge off Ben Stokes flying through Ian Bell's hands at second slip.