Blackcaps v England: New Zealand lose key early wickets in first-innings chase

New Zealand are tumbling towards a big first-innings deficit in their second test against England at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

After the tourists declared their first dig closed at 435/8, the Blackcaps were teetering at 138/7, when rain forced an early end to play on day two, still 97 runs away from avoiding the follow-on.

Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell will resume his innings on 25, when play resumes on Sunday, while captain Tim Southee has played a swashbuckling cameo of 23 off 18 balls, including two sixes. Together, they have put on 35 runs for the eight wicket.

After capturing the key wickets of opener Devon Conway and talisman Kane Williamson before lunch, England dominated the afternoon session, adding the scalps of Will Young, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell to compound the home side's misery.

Ollie Pope celebrates the wicket of Daryl Mitchell
Ollie Pope celebrates the wicket of Daryl Mitchell. Photo credit: Photosport

Latham can count himself a little unlucky to have his innings cut short at 35, after a ball from spinner Jack Leach was ruled to have clipped his glove on the way to leg slip Joe Root. Replays suggested impact was actually with his armguard, but the evidence was not conclusive enough to overturn the onfield decision.

Nicholls battled through to 30, before he was caught in close by Ollie Pope, off Leach, while Mitchell departed just before tea in identical circumstances - a brilliant reflex snatch by Pope.

After the break, Stuart Broad had Michael Bracewell caught and bowled for six, before Blundell and Southee staged their rearguard quest for respectability.

New Zealand were 12/2 at lunch at the Basin Reserve, with Latham seven not out and No.4 Young on one.

Anderson, who took the world's top ranking for test bowlers at the age of 40, after a seven-wicket haul in the first test, had Conway caught behind by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes on the fifth ball of the innings, a faint edge confirmed on review.

He then reduced New Zealand to 7/2, when Kane Williamson played a loose shot away from the body to nick behind to Foakes.

The England great has now dismissed Williamson nine times in tests.

Latham and Young survived a few overs to the break, with New Zealand still trailing by 423 runs.

England earlier resumed on 315/3 in an extended morning session, with Harry Brook and Root looking to build on their 294-run partnership, after completely dominating a rain-hit day one.

But Matt Henry ended their epic stand at 302 runs, denying the red-hot Brook (186) a maiden double-century with a caught-and-bowled.

Joe Root departs after scoring 153.
Joe Root departs after scoring 153. Photo credit: Getty Images

Stokes smashed a quickfire 27 off 28 balls, before he slogged a Neil Wagner delivery to substitute fielder Scott Kuggeleijn at mid-off.

That triggered a mini-collapse, as England lost 3/27, with spin bowling all-rounder Michael Bracewell trapping Foakes (0) and Stuart Broad (14) leg before wicket.

Root was superb, as his batting partners dwindled, thrashing the New Zealand bowlers for 10 fours and three sixes in his 224-ball knock.

He finished unbeaten on 153, flicking a Henry delivery over backward square for four on the last ball before Stokes' declaration.