England assumed a strong position in the second Test against New Zealand after Nick Compton and Jonathan Trott each scored fine centuries on day one in Wellington.
Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum asked the tourists to bat at Basin Reserve and was quickly left to rue the decision as England piled on the runs with Compton and Trott combining with a destructive 210–run partnership to provide their side with an ideal platform.
Both players celebrated their centuries in jubilant fashion, with Compton recording a second 100 in successive Test matches after having broken his duck in Dunedin, while Trott was left unbeaten on 121 at the close of play.
It was a day of serene progress for the tourists after Alastair Cook surprisingly chipped an innocuous delivery from seamer Neil Wagner to mid on with just 26 on the board and 17 to his name in the 11th over of the match.
The New Zealand bowlers, having thrived on day one of the opening Test, were left frustrated and dispirited after toiling through a long day in the field with England ending it well on top as Kevin Pietersen (18 not out) partnered Trott in steering the visitors to stumps for the loss of just two wickets.
A delighted Trott said after the day’s play: "It was a tricky toss, and we knew that it would not be a bad one to lose. After the first match we knew we had to bat strongly from the beginning, and we did that."
England, having been thoroughly unconvincing in securing a draw in the first Test in Dunedin, lost the toss again and were inserted on a track that had looked as though it would provide the bowlers with good bounce and carry.
Cook admitted that he too would have chosen to bowl had he won the toss, and he was soon on his way back to the pavilion looking bewildered after he chipped a full delivery from Wagner straight to a surprised Peter Fulton at mid on.
It was to be a solitary early strike for the hosts, whose bowlers were not further rewarded for bowling a largely defensive line as they struggled with little assistance from the pitch and with no swing to speak of.
Opening bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult hardly made the England batsmen play with the new ball as the pair failed to exert any real pressure, and it set the tone for a surprisingly comfortable morning for the visitors.
Boult, who caused England’s batsmen problems in the series opener, went at nearly four runs per over as he struggled without any swing being on offer, and Compton and Trott steadily built what turned out to be a very significant partnership.
Both England batsmen hit 15 boundaries during patient but assured knocks, with neither offering the hosts clear-cut opportunities to take further wickets in what was a one-sided afternoon.
Trott was the first to his century, and the number three kissed the badge on his England helmet in celebration, while Compton followed shortly afterwards with two confident boundaries taking him to the landmark with a real flourish.
The prolific Somerset batsman was unable to add a further run to his 100, however, as he edged an attempted drive behind to Ross Taylor at slip off slow left-arm spinner Bruce Martin, who was by far the most effective bowler for the Kiwis.
Pietersen, who looked in poor nick in Dunedin, scored just a single boundary as he played himself in with all due circumspection in the final hour's play in the day, and was left unbeaten alongside the unmovable Trott with 18 runs to his name.
England will now be looking to post a commanding first-innings total on day two as Cook’s side capitalise on a decision at the toss that McCullum will already be regretting with his side having surrendered the initiative at the start of the second Test in this three-match series.
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