He raised his 16th test half century from the final ball before lunch, reaching the mark in 119 minutes from 87 balls with seven fours. Taylor was 21 not out at the break. Latham also had a reprieve just before lunch when, on 49, he was adjudged lbw to Chris Woakes. New Zealand immediately reviewed the decision and it was overturned when replays showed the ball pitching outside leg stump.
England captain Joe Root took two catches at slip to support his decision to bowl after winning the toss. Root caught opener Jeet Raval (5) from the bowling of Stuart Broad and Williamson. Woakes was the beneficiary of England's bold and surprising decision to enter the match without a specialist spinner.
England omitted left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who played in the first test at Mount Maunganui, and opted to play five seamers including Woakes, who was perhaps the best bowler in the morning session. Root's decision was partly influenced by the light carpet of new grass which colored the pitch at Seddon Park. But the Hamilton venue generally provides good batting conditions and even by lunch the pitch had browned off and was providing little assistance to the fast bowlers.
Woakes (1-16) managed to get the ball to nip just slightly off the seam and used that advantage to remove Williamson. He bowled a full delivery to Williamson with squared up the batsman and straightened just enough to take the outside edge and carry to Root at first slip.
Broad (1-25) bowled around the wicket to the left-handers and had success when he drew Raval into a rash drive and got an edge to Root.
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