AUCKLAND: England were in immediate strife in their second innings as they battled to 38 for one at dinner on day four of the first Test, needing a further 331 to escape with a draw.
After New Zealand declared their first innings at 427 for eight, a lead of 369, England faced a torrid 50 minutes before the dinner adjournment.
Alastair Cook faced 11 balls and was gone for two, caught down the leg side by BJ Watling to give Trent Boult another scalp.
Mark Stoneman and Joe Root both played and missed several times but were still there at the end of the session with 18 and 14 respectively.
Boult, who took a career-best six for 32 in the first innings, was again near unplayable with one for four off five overs.
There are 136 overs remaining for England to play through if they are to escape with a draw after their paltry 58 in the first innings of the rain-affected day-night Test.
While the England batsmen looked unsure against the swing bowling of Boult and Tim Southee, a patient Henry Nicholls rarely seemed under pressure when he posted a career best 145 not out before the declaration was made.
It was his second century and sat alongside Kane Williamson’s 102 in laying the foundations for the comprehensive New Zealand lead despite rain interruptions.
Repeated showers meant only 25 overs were possible on days two and three although fine weather is forecast for the remainder of the Test.
New Zealand resumed Sunday at 233 for four and added 194 before declaring with Nicholls losing four partners along the way.
BJ Watling progressed from his overnight 18 to 31 before he was caught behind off Stuart Broad who also bowled Todd Astle for 18.
Colin de Grandhomme was caught behind off Craig Overton after scoring a quick 29 and Tim Southee was caught and bowled by Joe Root for 25.
Bowling for England, Broad took three for 78 and James Anderson took three for 87. —AFP