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29-Nov-2019 04:54:00 GMT
NZ vs Eng - 2nd Test, Hamilton, day 1

Latham century blunts England bowlers

New Zealand 173 for 3 (Latham 101*, Taylor 53) v England

Hamilton: Tom Latham scored a fine century as New Zealand frustrated England's bowlers on the opening day of the second Test in Hamilton.

The opener hit an unbeaten 101 to help the Black Caps recover from 39-2 to reach 173-3 before rain ended play early at Seddon Park.

Latham shared a third-wicket stand of 114 with Ross Taylor, who made 53, after England won the toss.

New Zealand lead 1-0 in the two-Test series.

Play will start half an hour early at 21:30 GMT on Friday to make up for the lost overs.

Joe Root has often turned to his vice-captain Ben Stokes when in need of a breakthrough, but the all-rounder struggled through only two overs with the ball.

Stokes grimaced and felt his left knee during his short spell in the afternoon period, and limped back to his fielding position just before tea. He did not bowl again.

Earlier, after England ask to bat, New Zealand did not make a convincing start. Jeet Raval's poor form continued as he flayed a Stuart Broad delivery to first slip, while captain Kane Williamson fell to a fine delivery from Woakes that was well held by Root.

It was down to Latham to steady the innings. He is quietly becoming a prolific Test opener; he averages 83 in the format in 2019 and has scored three centuries this year.

He had his luck. He was dropped by Stokes, diving to his left at second slip on 66, and overturned an lbw decision off Woakes on 49.

England fed Latham's leg-side play throughout the day. He scored 72 of his 101 runs in that area, leading former New Zealand batsman Jeremy Coney to nickname him "the king of the leg side".

Latham reached three figures just before tea, stepping down the pitch to Root's part-time and crunching four through mid-on to secure his 11th Test century.

His partnership with Taylor frustrated England, with the two scoring at a decent pace, and Taylor had a moment of fortune when an on-field lbw decision was overturned by the third umpire after the technology showed a slight spike.

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