England captured the vital New Zealand wicket of BJ Watling on the last ball before tea to snap a stubborn 124-run partnership on day two of the second Test in Hamilton on Saturday.
At the interval, New Zealand were 315 for six with Watling out for 55 and debutant Daryl Mitchell still at the crease on 63.
Watling and Mitchell had stonewalled England for almost two full sessions as New Zealand looked to bat England out of the Test to take the series.
England made a positive start to the day when they removed the overnight batsmen inside the first half hour with Tom Latham gone for 105 and Henry Nicholls for 16, and New Zealand were five for 191.
Watling and Mitchell then dug in to patiently regain the initiative for New Zealand in a cautious partnership that saw England deliver 21 maiden overs in two sessions. Mitchell faced 122 deliveries before bringing up his 50, pulling Ben Stokes through mid-wicket for four.
An even more cautious Watling had faced 180 deliveries by the time he reached his 50 three overs later with an elegant cut to the cover boundary off Sam Curran.
Their stubborn partnership had put New Zealand on track to at least draw the Test and take the series after comprehensively winning the first Test when Watling dominated with a double century.
Watling's charmed run came to an end in Hamilton when he fended a short ball from Stuart Broad to Rory Burns in the gully.
Broad, who bowled Latham with his sixth ball of the day, has figures of three for 60.
He also took the catch to remove Nicholls off the bowling of Curran who has one for 63.
Chris Woakes was the only other wicket-taker for England, removing Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor on the first day to have two for 57.
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