Ross Taylor, with a majestic maiden Test hundred, and Daniel Vettori capitalised on indifferent and insipid England bowling on the second morning of the first Test to take control of the match. The pair batted through the first session, adding 105 runs to New Zealand's overnight score, and by lunch the hosts had reached the powerful position of 387 for 6.
Taylor batted beautifully, cutting, driving and carving Ryan Sidebottom, Matthew Hoggard and Stephen Harmison through the off-side whenever they strayed, which for Michael Vaughan, the England captain, was far too often. The gifted right-hander, who will be 24 on Saturday, gave himself the best ever birthday present when he pulled an attempted bouncer from Harmison to the square leg boundary for four.
After removing his helmet and acknowledging the applause of a small crowd Vettori, his captain, hugged him warmly. Nobody at Seddon Park would have been more aware of the importance of Taylor's innings and the partnership than Vettori; it gave New Zealand every chance of dictating the cricket that will be played in the remainder of the Test. At the interval Taylor had moved to 111 not out, while Vettori was unbeaten on 47.
England began the second day with their noses just in front but Taylor and Vettori grabbed the initiative, dispatching wayward deliveries to the boundary and running hard between the wickets. The policy took England by surprise and brought instant results.
Vaughan tactics took on a more defensive look, with slips being moved to the cover region. A couple of edges flashed through the vacant gaps, but it was fortune well earned by the batsmen.
Lunch, day two: New Zealand 387 for 6 (119 overs) (Taylor 111 not out, Vettori 47 not out)Reuse content