Tom Latham smashed a superb century and New Zealand reached a strong position on a rain-affected day 1 in Hamilton. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Tom Latham smashed his 11th century and Ross Taylor benefited from a confounding DRS situation to smash fifty as New Zealand ended the day on 173/3 on a rain-hit first day of the Hamilton Test against England on Wednesday. Latham's ton put him joint sixth on the list of New Zealand players when it comes to number of Test centuries and his partnership of 116 with Taylor rescued New Zealand after Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bat. Jeet Raval was the first to go when he edged Stuart Broad to Joe Root and Williamson, who was under a cloud heading into the Test match due to an injury, struggled throughout and he was sent back by Chris Woakes, with Root taking his second catch.
Latham was joined by Taylor and the duo proceeded to steady the innings. Latham found the boundary on a regular basis and notched up a confident fifty. However, he was also gifted a life by Ben Stokes when he dropped him on 66. However, there were more concerns for England when Stokes felt pain in his left knee after bowling two overs. The all-rounder will be assessed overnight to see whether he can bowl again during the innings.
Taylor also received a let-off which proved costly for England when he was hit on the pads by Broad and given out. After conferring with Latham, Taylor appeared to believe there was a ball direction issue and sought a review. TV umpire Bruce Oxenford overturned the decision when slow-motion video replays detected a faint sound after the ball passed the bat but had not reached the pads. Oxenford believed it could only have come from an inside edge which Taylor did not feel and overturned the dismissal. A relieved Taylor batted on to bring up his 32nd Test half-century with a four and was dismissed on the next ball.
However, following the tea break, the rain descended on Seddon Park and no further play was possible. Play will start 30 minutes early on the remaining days in order to make up for lost time. New Zealand won the first Test at Mount Maunganui by an innings to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series but this ongoing series is not part of the ICC World Test Championships.