Watling century gives NZ lead over England

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New Zealand England Cricket

BJ Watling is unbeaten on 119 at stumps on day three and given New Zealand a lead over England

BJ Watling scored the first Test century on Bay Oval as New Zealand established a 41-run lead against England at stumps on day three of the first Test.

New Zealand reached 6-394 by the close of play on Saturday at Mount Maunganui with Watling unbeaten on 119.

The 34-year-old had arrived at the crease on Friday with New Zealand on 4-127 and in danger of conceding a large first innings deficit to England, who had been earlier bowled out for 353.

The wicketkeeper, however, slowly rebuilt New Zealand's innings with a 70-run partnership with Henry Nicholls, 119 with Colin de Grandhomme and an unbeaten 78 runs with Mitchell Santner, who finished the day 31 not out.

Watling's eighth Test century was the first at the ground, which is hosting its inaugural Test match.

It was also his second in succession after he scored 105 not out against Sri Lanka in Colombo in August and was brought up with a single wide of mid-on from the bowling of Sam Curran.

New Zealand started Saturday on 4-144 and England had high hopes of running through their middle order, especially given that Nicholls had sustained a nasty blow on the helmet from a Jofra Archer bouncer late on Friday.

Nicholls had to pass concussion tests to continue batting on Saturday.