Ton-up Root survives while New Zealand raids
HAMILTON: New Zealand gave crucial blows at the end of day three of the second test to have England in trouble despite centuries of Joe Root and Rory Burns in Hamilton on Sunday.
England's captain, Root, ended his drought with 114 undefeated, while Burns survived by luck by posting 101, but when the rain ended the game 16 earlier, tourists were 269 times five.
They trailed New Zealand by 106 with five wickets remaining and their vision of building a healthy lead rapidly fading.
With Root and Burns putting on 177 for the third wicket, England found the "bat-long" partnership they had been searching for in their attempt to follow the same recipe New Zealand used to win the first Test.
But from resuming the day at 39 for two and taking the score to 201, the dismissal of Burns triggered a slump that saw Ben stokes He disappeared by 26 while Zak Crawley made one in his debut.
Root was under additional pressure not only to lead England to a position of strength but also to end its own shortage of running amid suggestions that the pressure of the captaincy was affecting its form.
To that end, he was not in the mood to take a risk, as he faced 258 deliveries in six hours to reach 99 before his century came with a surprise that saw an inner edge fly past the wicketkeeper to the limit.
His 17th test was the first in 15 entries from the West Indies in February.
Burns lead a charmed life on the way to his second century when he was dropped on 10 and 19 and on 87 survived a run-out opportunity when New Zealand botched the return throw.
But two balls after reaching three figures he ambled through the first single when Root called for two and although he accelerated on the return leg he was a centimetre short when BJ Watling He broke the stumps.
Stokes strayed from the "bat-long" script when he replaced Burns and compiled a brisk 26 before Tim Southee extracted slight movement off the wicket and found an edge for Ross Taylor to hold.
Crawley's inaugural test tickets only lasted six balls when he was caught to give Neil Wagner his first wicket
For New Zealand, Southee has taken two for 63 while Wagner and Matt Henry have a wicket each.