Hamilton: Tom Latham's century took New Zealand to 173/3 on the opening day of the second Test against England before rain here washed out the final session.
Latham combined with Ross Taylor for a third-wicket partnership of 116 runs, and was unbeaten on 101 when the umpires called play off early on Friday, at Seddon Park. The left-handed opener had brought up the milestone " his fifth hundred in the past 12 months ? in style, with a four down the ground in the last over before tea.
Taylor's contribution of 53 was as vital as the duo helped the hosts recover from the early loss of Jeet Raval and Kane Williamson. Chris Woakes, one of two changes for England, picked up two wickets.
Woakes came in for Jack Leach, as England went into the game without a frontline spinner. Zak Crawley was handed his debut cap, replacing the injured Jos Buttler. New Zealand had a debutant of their own in Daryl Mitchell, who replaced Colin de Grandhomme, while Matt Henry came in for Trent Boult, an ICC report said.
Root's call to bowl first appeared to pay off when Raval went for a loose drive off Stuart Broad and edged it straight into the skipper's hands at first slip. Root had his second catch just before drinks, Woakes getting the big wicket of Kane Williamson after drawing an edge.
From 39/2, however, New Zealand hunkered down. Latham, who had looked in fine flow, had a decision against him overturned, with DRS showing Woakes' ball had pitched just outside leg, when the batsman was on 49. He made the most of it, bringing up his half-century later in the over at the stroke of lunch. He had another life on 66, when a prod to a Jofra Archer bullet was put down by Ben Stokes in the slip cordon.
Taylor, too, benefitted from a review. Although Broad was convinced he had his man,the TV umpire spotted enough to say Taylor had got some bat on it. The batsman went on to celebrate with a flurry of fours to welcome Archer and Sam Curran back into the attack.
Woakes finally got the breakthrough, sending back Taylor right after his half-century, with Root pocketing another slip catch.
Just three balls were bowled after tea before the rain came in. With no hope of resumption, the umpires called stumps. Play is set to resume early on Saturday to make up for the lost overs, with Henry Nicholls (5 not out) joining Latham.
New Zealand - 173/3
England - To Bat