Rain disrupts second day as New Zealand increase lead

Ross Taylor had been battling a groin injury and a stomach bug but has been declared fit to play in New Zealand’s first Test vs England

Veteran England quick James Anderson has called on his teammates to keep the faith as they stare down the barrel of Test defeat to New Zealand.

It was saved from more grave humiliation by tailender Craig Overton.

Nicholls was 49 not out, wicketkeeper B.J. Watling was 17 and New Zealand were 229-4 when heavy rain stopped play in the second session on a day in which only 23 overs were bowled and 54 runs scored.

Persistent rain has forced an early end to day two of NewZealand's day-night Test against England.

Kane Williamson insisted that the late Martin Crowe remained New Zealand's best batsman of all time as he grabbed a national-record 18th Test century on a rain-hit day two against England on Friday.

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"We had the first use of the wicket and we probably got our lengths right, but we've seen throughout, when England have bowled, there have always been challenging times, and our batters have done a pretty good job so far". There was an instance when England was on the brink of being bowled out for their lowest Test score. They are now leading by 171 runs with six first-innings wickets in hand.

James Anderson got the ball to nip back in and trap Williamson in front in the 84th over to give England an opening.

Anderson continued to be the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Stuart Broad's lone wicket was a special one as it was his 400th wicket in Test cricket.

By then, he had provided England's batsmen with an object lesson in the patience required to negate early lateral movement - of which the visiting attack found much less than New Zealand's Trent Boult and Tim Southee - before cashing in on a pitch of easy pace and true bounce.

The weather is expected to clear on Sunday morning, and when play resumes, all eyes will be on Williamson, and how long he decides to continue batting - assuming of course, it ends up being his decision at all, with Anderson and Broad and co sure to have their tails up. Henry Nicholls raised his sixth Test fifty.

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