Christchurch : BJ Watling and Colin de Grandhomme hauled New Zealand back into the second Test on Saturday to trail England by 115 runs with four wickets in hand at stumps on day two in Christchurch.
When bad light stopped play seven overs early, New Zealand were 192 for six.
Watling was on 77 after sharing a 142-run stand with de Grandhomme which was broken in the final hour by England’s man of the moment Stuart Broad.
Broad, who had de Grandhomme caught behind for 72, finished the day with four for 38.
It was Watling’s 14th Test half-century and de Grandhomme’s second highest score as they passed New Zealand’s previous 6th wicket partnership record against England of 141, set by Martin Crowe and Adam Parore 24 years ago.
In a match of fluctuating fortunes, New Zealand’s recovery from 36 for five followed England’s own revival from 164 for seven to be all out for 307.
After months of misery on the road, England felt their luck had turned after Jonny Bairstow’s rescue mission, with the wicketkeeper-batsman posting his fifth Test century before he was out for 101.
Broad and James Anderson then routed the New Zealand top order to have the Black Caps in serious trouble before de Grandhomme joined Watling to steady their innings.
De Grandhomme took an aggressive approach to bring up his 50 off 87 deliveries but then took a back seat as Watling opened up in the final session.
Watling, on 40 at tea, was troubled by Mark Wood after the resumption before taking out his frustration on spinner Jack Leach to reach his 50 with a huge six over mid-wicket.
From there, he scored freely in an innings which also includes 10 fours.
It left the Test evenly poised with three days to play.
England need to win to level the series while New Zealand require a draw to ensure a rare second home series win over England.
Broad, who felt before the first Test in Auckland that he was in danger of being dropped as a new-ball bowler, justified the faith held in him when he had Tom Latham caught behind with the ninth ball of the New Zealand innings.
It was to be the first of four catches by Bairstow who was also instrumental in removing Jeet Raval (five) and Kane Williamson (22) to give James Anderson figures of two for 43, and de Grandhomme.
Broad also accounted for Ross Taylor for two and first-Test century-maker Henry Nicholls without scoring.
England had resumed the second day at 290 for eight and added 17 runs, seven from byes, in 41 balls.