Devon Conway and Will Young scored half centuries as New Zealand finished second day at 229-3, 74 points behind England’s first innings result in the second and final Test against Edgbaston on Friday.
Left-batting batsman Conway, fresh from his brilliance two hundred on his first appearance for Lords in the opening Test, smashed 12 limits of his 80, along with Young adding 122 throws for the second wicket.
Young showed incredible patience on 82 balls of 204 before becoming Dan Lawrence’s first Test gate in the final of the day. The Tourists ended the day with undefeated Ross Taylor at 46 at the other end.
New Zealand captain Tom Latham blocked his leg just 15 times on the board before Conway and Will Young continued to thwart the English bowling attack.
Conway was saved at 22 when the South African-born hitter outplayed tailor Stewart Broad to Zach Crowley in slips.
But with Field Governor Richard Kettleborough giving a soft signal not to go out, television referee Michael Gove decided there was not enough evidence for him to overturn that decision.
Young, who replaced injured captain Ken Williamson in the top spot, was sure to be without seven players but England captain Joe Root missed a chance that looked comfortable on the first slip despite touching the ball with both hands.
Conway missed another triple hit when he dumped Broad in the final session, but Young continued to show great maturity at the other end.
Young, who has only played his third Test, has built a 92nd partnership with Taylor as England struggled to make an impact without a full-time player in the squad.
Earlier, automaker Mark Wood’s illustrious No. 41 helped England reach 303 in all of their first rounds, as Mark Lawrence finished unbeaten at 81.
Wood, who resumed playing at 16 not out, scored six limits before beating Matt Henry’s delivery back on the stumps.
Returning to the courts, Trent Bolt was the bowlers’ choice for Tourist as he cornered James Anderson’s leg before finishing 4-85.