James Anderson's first wicket, bowling Aaron Redmond with an outswinging yorker, was a good nut to begin with. His second, though, demonstrated there lurks some grey matter underneath his attentively preened hairstyle. In bounced Brendon McCullum, swishing wildly at another outswinger. Anderson changed his tactic later in the over, going wider of the crease and angling it into McCullum's pads. Another beautiful outswinger greeted McCullum, who played with concrete feet, and his off stump joined Redmond's in being pinned back and England had their second. Smart cricket from a bowler not often credited as much of a thinker.
With England resuming on 273 for 7, under humid and overcast conditions, there was not a great deal of hope that the tail would wag and extend England beyond 300. And yet, Stuart Broad and Anderson managed just that, with a frustrating eighth-wicket partnership of 76. Broad, who stroked a wonderfully composed maiden fifty, ought to have been taken at second slip on 21 by McCullum, whose injured back has prevented him taking the wicketkeeper's gloves. Even those who make this game look ridiculously easy have klutzy moments, McCullum clanging a sitter, and England - Broad in particular - dominated the session, and then the day.
Extra-tall cricketers are not often described as languid at the crease. Their gangly frames and lumbering approach to anything that resembles running can make them resemble a giraffe escaping a lion on hot coals, but Broad - who towers at 6ft 8in - is entirely different. Plenty of ability and technique has been in evidence in his short career, but it was his class that shone most brightly today. A silky stroke through the off-side off Iain O'Brien oozed class; another off the same bowler, slightly squarer of the wicket, was timed even more sweetly. These were shots of an assured batsman, possibly England's future No. 6, and he took O'Brien for another four - the most languid of all - guiding him through extra cover. After flicking Daniel Vettori through midwicket to bring up his maiden fifty, it took an excellent off-cutter from the luckless Chris Martin to dismiss him, and the crowd's ovation suggested the public have found themselves a future hero.
In the 18th over of New Zealand's first innings, Steve Bucknor took the ball midway through Broad's over and had a close look at it. Ball changes are usually prompted by turf-kicking bowlers who have 0 for 60 from 12 overs against their name, or a wise captain. In fact, Vettori and Michael Vaughan have both pressured the umpires into changing the non-swinging 2008 Dukes ball, replacing it as often as they can with last year's far bendier batch. Today, though, it was Bucknor who instigated the swap, handing it to his colleague Darrell Hair. In a hark back to the dark days at The Oval two years ago, every camera around the ground zoomed inquisitively and instantly into Hair's hands, which lifted the ball up to inspect it. No penalty runs this time, though. It was nothing less than an innocent and out-of-shape ball, and the cameras slunk back to their customary positions.
During the first hour of the day, as Broad and Anderson defied New Zealand's bowlers, an explosion around the back of the William Clarke stand could be heard. An ambulance and fire engine were summoned, and it later emerged that a fire extinguisher had fallen off its hook and exploded. Unfortunately for one of the staff standing nearby the storeroom, the door was blown off its hinges, apparently snapping her wrist in the process while others were treated for shock. It was later confirmed by Nottinghamshire that the fire extinguisher was in fact a paint canister, and the broken wrist was nothing more than a "minor injury".
Stewards and groundstaff are always an interesting bunch to talk to at the cricket. And for a job which demands you watch cricket for five very long days, in between delays for rain and antiquated rests for cups of tea, some knowledge of the game would surely be a prerequisite. Not so for two such security guards who were engrossed in a conversation about its rules. "When do the other guys get to bat?" asked the first. "Tomorrow I think. They swap over or something." When cricket's wonderfully bonkers rules were explained to them, their disinterest grew even further, wondering quite how they would survive three more dull days of "people running about aimlessly".
Will Luke is a staff writer at Cricinfo