Watling again props up New Zealand after Latham falls

Hamilton (New Zealand) (AFP) –


BJ Watling was again asked to steady New Zealand after England claimed both overnight batsmen including centurion Tom Latham on day two of the second Test in Hamilton on Saturday.

Latham only faced six balls at the start of the day before he was bowled for 105 by Stuart Broad, bringing Watling to the middle with New Zealand 182 for four.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, whose double century set up New Zealand's first Test victory, has been rattled at times by England's battery of quicks but held his wicket in partnership with debutant Daryl Mitchell to take New Zealand to 248 for five at lunch.

It was again a lesson in patience from Watling who was unbeaten on 29 from 105 deliveries while Mitchell was on 26.

After a frustrating first day for England when reviews went against them, Latham was dropped and a troublesome knee restricted Ben Stokes to only two overs, they had early success on day two with the wickets of Latham and his overnight partner Henry Nicholls.

When Nicholls went New Zealand were 191 for five and Watling and Mitchell then put on 57 for the sixth-wicket.

Broad put a spring in England's step in his first over of the day when he bowled Latham, who only added four to his overnight 101.

It was a surprise misjudgement from the New Zealand opener who offered no shot to a ball which came back into his off stump.

Nicholls gave up his wicket chasing a leg-side bouncer from Sam Curran which he pulled to Broad waiting at fine leg.

Curran had gone close to claiming Watling in his previous over with a ball that seamed away and shaved the edge of the bat.

But makeshift wicketkeeper Ollie Pope, taking the gloves in place of the injured Jos Buttler, could not get far enough forward and the ball landed a few blades of grass in front of his fingertips.

In trying to build the pressure on New Zealand, England have, however, wasted their last review on an unsuccessful appeal from Curran against Watling when replays showed the ball hit the bat before slamming into the pads.