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Wellington - New Zealand took three wickets to slow England's march towards a massive first innings total, but the visitors are still in a strong position at 353 for five at lunch on the second day of the second Test on Friday.
Kevin Pietersen was on 68, reaching his 30th test half century despite some nervous moments when he was dropped once and gave New Zealand's fielders a half chance as he charged left arm spinner Bruce Martin. Matt Prior was on 15 at the break.
England had started the day in a strong position on 267 for two, with Jonathan Trott on 121 and Pietersen on 18 and looking to consolidate in the first hour of play and lay the foundation for a possible declaration later in the day.
After Pietersen safely negotiated the first over of the day, Trott was dismissed on the first delivery he faced from left arm pace bowler Trent Boult when he pushed away from his body and feathered a catch to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.
Pietersen, who made just 12 runs in the drawn first Test, seemed anxious to get into his naturally attacking game but he was lucky to still be at the crease at the break.
The tall right hander got a thick top edge to a Tim Southee bouncer on 40 and while Watling got a hand to it, he was able only to parry it away, with the visitors on 300 for three.
The hosts, however, did not have to wait long before they managed to make another breakthrough when Ian Bell, who had looked comfortable in making 11, charged Martin and only succeeded in lofting the ball to Peter Fulton, leaving the visitors on 302 for four.
Joe Root then continued his poor run in the tests in New Zealand after a superb one-day series when Martin managed to get some bounce and turn that will pique the interest of England's Monty Panesar and Watling took the catch to dismiss the 22-year-old for 10.
Nick Compton and Trott had exploited a good batting surface on a sun-drenched first day at the Basin Reserve to combine for a 210-run second wicket partnership.
The third match of the series is at Eden Park in Auckland from March 22-26. - Reuters