WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s BJ Watling was again proving to be a thorn in England’s side as the wicketkeeper combined with debutant Daryl Mitchell to rebuild the hosts’ innings after losing two quick wickets on the second day of the second test in Hamilton.
Watling, who scored 205 in the innings and 65-run victory in the first game in Mt Maunganui, was on 29 at lunch at Seddon Park on Saturday with New Zealand 248-5 after overnight batsmen Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls had been dismissed early.
The 28-year-old Mitchell did not look nervous on his test debut and had moved to 26, having signalled his presence at the crease with a massive six down the ground off part-time legspinner Joe Denly.
New Zealand had resumed on 173-3 with Latham (101) and Nicholls (five) at the crease after almost all of the final session on Friday was rained off.
Stuart Broad, however, struck in the second over when Latham, having just hit his 16th boundary through mid-on to open his account, left a delivery that held its line and clipped his off stump.
Latham’s dismissal for 105 reduced the hosts to 182-4 and England quickly upped the pressure with Nicholls caught by Broad off Sam Curran for 16 when he top edged a hook down to fine leg.
With the home side reduced to 191-5 and England looking to run through the tail, Watling and Mitchell blunted the attack and calmly built their 57-run partnership as they seized the advantage back from the tourists.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ken Ferris)