England captain Joe Root and opener Rory Burns hit century apiece to keep New Zealand quicks at bay for the better part of the Day 3 of their second Test in Hamilton on Sunday. The duo stitched a 177-run partnership for the third wicket in a much improved batting display before the hosts hit back with late strikes.

The day ended an hour early due to rain with England 269/5, still trailing New Zealand by 106 runs.

Resuming on their overnight total of 39/2, the tourists enjoyed a fruitful morning where they saw through a wicketless session. Both Burns and Root completed their half-centuries in the first session.

Rory then proceeded to reach his second Test hundred but was caught napping after reaching three figures to be run out for 101 off 209.. an innings laced with 15 fours. Root though looked determined to go the distance, completing his first Test century in nine months with Rory’s dismissal the only success New Zealand enjoyed before tea-break.

The final session saw Tim Southee and Neil Wagner quickly removing Ben Stokes (26) and Zak Crawley even as the score went past 250-run mark.

Following Crawley’s dismissal, visibility reduced dramatically and then rain followed pushing the players back in the dressing room. The play was finally called off with Root unbeaten on 114 off 278 with 14 fours, his 17th century in Test cricket. Batting alongside him was Ollie Pope on 4*.

England are desperate to save the two-match series, trailing 0-1 after suffering an innings defeat in the opener.

Brief Scores: England 269/5 (Joe Root 114, Rory Burns 101; Tim Southee 2/63) trail New Zealand 375 on Day 3 by 106 runs