Latham was unbeaten on 101 as New Zealand reached tea at 173-3. Taylor was out 20 minutes before the break for 53 and Latham had been joined by Henry Nicholls, who was 5. New Zealand added 87 runs for the loss of only Taylor's wicket during the second session, indicating England captain Joe Root may have been mistaken when he elected to bowl on winning the toss.
England took five seamers and no specialist spinner into the match and those bowlers were made to work hard on an unresponsive pitch at Seddon Park. Stokes came into the match with a knee injury and was in pain as he bowled only two overs in the first two sessions. He seems unlikely to be able to bowl again the first innings, seriously depleting the England attack.
Latham appeared comfortable from the start of play and reached his 11th test century from 159 balls with 15 fours to rise to 10th on New Zealand's all-time test scoring list. He was particularly strong off his pads and the England bowlers fueled his run-scoring when they strayed too often onto his leg stump. The tactic of right-armers Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer bowling around the wicket to the left-hander was unsuccessful.
Taylor reached his 32nd test half century from 98 balls and was out immediately afterwards, caught by Root at slip from the bowling of Chris Woakes. All three New Zealand wickets to fall went to catches by Root, who did his best to back-up his decision to field first.
He previously caught Jeet Raval (5) and Kane Williamson (4). Latham and Taylor had several reprieves in the first two sessions, thanks to the DRS. Latham was judged lbw to Woakes when he was 49 but overturned the decision on review.
Taylor, on 25, successfully challenged an lbw decision which went in favor of Broad and replays showed the faintest of inside edges. England then reviewed the umpire's rejection of an lbw appeal by Woakes when Taylor was 47 and the replay showed the ball pitching outside leg.
The only moment to celebrate for England came close to tea when Taylor drove at a ball from Woakes and edged a catch to Root at first slip. Latham had earlier been dropped when he offered a sharp chance to Stokes at second slip.
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