An unbeaten fourth-wicket stand between Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls has left the Black Caps in the box seat at stumps on day two of the second Test against Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Williamson finished the day on 112 not out, while Nicholls was unbeaten on 89 as the pair piled on 215 runs by close of play.

New Zealand were 286-3 at close of play, just 11 runs behind Pakistan’s first innings tally of 297.

Nicholls made the most of a reprieve when he was on three, when he edged Shaheen Afridi to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan only for the bowler to be called for a no-ball.

It was a long day in the field for Pakistan, but things had looked promising early on.

New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Tom Blundell put on 52 for the first wicket, but were dismissed in successive overs – Blundell first for 16 and then Latham for 33, to an outstanding reflex catch from Haris Sohail at first slip after an edge rebounded off Shan Masood at second slip.

The Black Caps lost their third soon after lunch. Ross Taylor edged Mohammad Abbas to Masood in the slips at at 71-3 when he was on 12, and the New Zealanders looked in trouble.

But Williamson and Nicholls showed patience and timing to weather the storm, then upped the tempo as the day wore on.

Williamson notched up his 24th Test century, and his first at Hagley Oval, while Nicholls is closing in on his seventh, continuing the form he found last month with his 174 against the West Indies.

_RNZ

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