Openers get England off to right start
Alastair Cook and Nick Compton's fifth half-century stand in 10 Test match attempts gave England a foothold in their bid to salvage a draw at the University Oval.
England found themselves needing to bat the majority of five and a half sessions to stay level after this first match of three against New Zealand.
By lunch, their openers had erased 58 of their 293-run arrears without loss or significant alarm.
Compton, still with work to do if he is to confirm himself in the role as Cook's partner for next summer's Ashes, played and missed several times and survived an optimistic DRS procedure for caught-behind on 16.
But he got himself off a pair with a pushed single from the first ball he faced, from Tim Southee, after his initial failure in England's faulty first innings - and was largely assured thereafter.
The tourists' batsmen were profligate first time round, and captain Cook appeared determined to set the tone for the much more disciplined performance England so badly needed. By contrast, New Zealand had licence to attack when they batted on for 40 minutes of another cool and cloudy morning - a situation which perfectly suited Brendon McCullum (74).
From a start-of-play 402 for seven, the Kiwis bagged another 58 runs for two wickets in under nine overs before the declaration came. McCullum's share was 30 from just 17 balls, including two sixes off James Anderson and one off Stuart Broad.
He began with a mighty pull off Broad high into the trees at deep square-leg, and then repeated the dose off Anderson at the other end before also striking him high over long-off for good measure.
Debutant tailender Bruce Martin was no slouch either, in a stand of 77 which ended when McCullum aimed another huge hit at Broad (three for 118) but succeeded only in propelling the ball vertically.
Anderson was the man under the skier at midwicket, and his hands were mercifully safe. Still New Zealand pressed on until Martin was ninth out, caught behind trying to pull and giving Steven Finn his only wicket of the innings. That, though, was the point at which the pressure was squarely back on England - for the remainder of the match.
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