England v New Zealand, 1st Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day May 22, 2015

Williamson builds on century opening stand

New Zealand 303 for 2 (Williamson 92*, Taylor 47*) trail England 389 (Root 98, Stokes 92, Buttler 67, Moeen 58, Boult 4-79, Henry 4-93) by 86 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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New Zealand gave themselves the opportunity of a substantial lead after their top order dominated the second day at Lord's. They had the luxury of a rare century opening stand, as Martin Guptill and Tom Latham added 148, which was then built on by Kane Williamson who will sleep on a graceful 92 having formed an unbroken partnership of 155 with Ross Taylor.

By the close, the visitors were within 86 runs of England's 389, which was substantial after being 30 for 4 but there was not much power to add on the second morning as the last three wickets fell for 26. England's bowlers toiled as cloud cover gave away to late-afternoon sunshine, their only moments of relief coming in quick succession when the New Zealand openers - who were each given a life - departed in the space of three balls.

It might have been three wickets in five balls with Taylor, too, having an early reprieve when Williamson's call for a sharp single would have left him stranded if Stuart Broad had hit with an under-arm flick in his follow through. Apart from that, and when he was beaten by a Moeen Ali delivery which ripped out of the footmarks in the penultimate over of the day, Williamson did not put a foot wrong.

Williamson, whose previous Test innings was an unbeaten 242, had not batted in the middle since April 13 having made just two IPL appearances for Sunrisers Hyderabad - perhaps that was a good thing given his natural tempo. He also has an insatiable appetite for nets and is unlikely to have missed the chance for some extensive sessions.

He certainly looked like a man who was well in tune with his game, driving England's bowlers to distraction with his delicate touch through third man - which was left oddly unprotected - and timing each of his 12 boundaries beautifully. A century beckoned on the third day as did the prospect of Brendon McCullum, scorer of a triple, two double-hundreds and a 195 in little more than a year.

Opening partnerships have not been a hugely successful part of New Zealand's history, but on this occasion Williamson and Taylor had a wonderful foundation to build on. This was just New Zealand's fifth century opening stand on English soil and fifth against any team since 2004 - highlighting the challenge they have had in finding a productive combination. Both openers took advantage of being reprieved: Guptill, on 25, was caught at first slip off debutant Mark Wood, who was denied the wicket by overstepping, and Latham, on 21, was dropped at second slip by Ian Bell off Ben Stokes.

Wood nudged 92mph in his first over in Test cricket and got the ball to carry through at chest height to Buttler. In his third over he produced an excellent delivery which climbed outside off, took Guptill's edge and was well held by Alastair Cook at first slip. The celebrations began, but then agony took over as replays showed he was on, not behind, the popping crease.

Wood's Durham team-mate Stokes was also eye-catching in his first spell, finding help off the surface and troubling Latham in particular who he should have removed when the left hander pushed at one going across him but Bell, moving to his left at second slip, could not hold on.

Guptill, showing the form of the last four months, which has included double-hundreds at the World Cup and for Derbyshire then 150 in the recent warm-up match against Worcestershire, went to his fifty from 87 balls and Latham, with a sweet cover drive, from 95 deliveries. The off-side play of both batsmen was a stand-out feature, Guptill opening his innings with a lovely cover drive, while Latham regularly picked off boundaries through the covers.

New Zealand's scoring rate was well above four an over in the afternoon (and did not dip under that for most of the day) as England struggled to gain control. Moeen, who did not bowl until the 33rd over but found some purchase from a dry surface, provided the breakthrough when Latham was trapped on the back foot by one which skidded on. Two balls later and Guptill's innings was also over when the desire to drive brought his downfall as he played on the up against Broad and was superbly caught, down to his left, by Gary Ballance at cover.

Kane Williamson did not look like a man who had not batted for more than a month © PA Photos

Taylor endured a nervous start, greeted by a strong lbw appeal first ball by Broad and then being left stranded by his partner next delivery. He was nowhere near as fluent as Williamson and flirted with being lbw on two further occasions - one of which, against James Anderson, brought a review - but came down the pitch to loft Moeen straight and later uppercut Stokes to third man although towards the end of play, as Broad peppered him with the short ball, he appeared to be struggling with an injury.

England had resumed on 354 for 7 following the final-ball dismissal of Jos Buttler on the first evening and the lower order could not push them beyond 400. Moeen made 58 - overall England's Nos 5 for 8 added 315 runs for the innings - but Trent Boult twice found outside edges during an impressive spell.

Moeen had moved to his half-century in the first over of the day when he pulled Southee for his ninth boundary but he only added a further five runs before sparring outside off against Boult and edging through to Latham, who continued to deputise for the injured BJ Watling behind the stumps. Boult had his fourth when Broad feathered an edge, but he could not join Southee on the honours board when Matt Henry chimed in for his fourth courtesy of a fine reflex catch in his follow through to remove Anderson.

Anderson, who is sitting on 397 Test wickets and having seen the ball swing for Southee and Boult, sprinted off to prepare to open the bowling on a ground where he has profited throughout his career. But it was a much wearier walk off come the end of the day.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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