WELLINGTON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Rory Burns and Joe Root thwarted New Zealand’s hopes of making an early breakthrough with a 118-run partnership as they took England to 142-2 at lunch on the third day of the second test at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.
Burns was on 76, his sixth test half century, while captain Root was on 50 with their side still 233 runs from establishing a first-innings lead.
The hosts were dismissed for 375 on Saturday.
Root had been given out on 47 when he was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper BJ Watling about 15 minutes before lunch to give debutant Daryl Mitchell his first test wicket.
The 28-year-old Root, however, reviewed the decision and technology showed the ball had brushed his pad rather than hit his bat. He then brought up his 46th test half century with a push into the leg side for a single in Mitchell’s next over.
England had resumed on 39-2 with Burns on 24 and Root on six after they had seen their side through to the close of play on Saturday after Dom Sibley and Joe Denly had both been dismissed for four to leave the tourists on 24-2 and in deep trouble.
Despite being in a precarious position, Root and Burns were not afraid to play aggressively on a wicket that was proving good for batting, although several shots flew close to the hands of New Zealand’s fielders.
Burns, who was dropped twice on Saturday, brought up his half century with a single off Neil Wagner to go with his eight boundaries as the tourists looked to build and bat just once in the match they need to win to level the two-test series.
New Zealand won the first test at Bay Oval in Mt. Maunganui by an innings and 65 runs. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Daniel Wallis)