Joe Root and Rory Burns scored hundreds as England posted 269 for 5 in reply to New Zealand’s 375.
Root came back to form with a fighting century after a lean patch of form in England this summer. He had scored a century against West Indies in the Caribbean and in his next 14 Test innings, he didn’t score a hundred. He was unbeaten on 114* before the rain interrupted play, though they still trail by 106 runs.
England resumed the day’s play at 39 for 2 after Dom Sibley and Joe Denly returned to the pavilion, failing to make an impact. Root and Burns added 177 runs together for the third-wicket partnership before Burns fell short of his ground on 101.
Burns suffered a few nervy moments after surviving two dropped catches but got comfortable on the next day as the play progressed. New Zealand thought they had a chance when Root was adjudged caught behind on 47 but the DRS saved England captain as the ball had missed his bat.
Burns got another chance as he survived a run-out opportunity on 87 and the pair crossed 150 runs for the third wicket.
But he fell short of his ground later on while attempting a risky second run, thus providing the hosts with an important breakthrough.
New Zealand then created few inroads after Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley didn’t hang around in for long. Tim Southee got one to shape away from the Durham all-roudner to have him caught behind for 26.
Debutant Zak Crawley scored one off six balls after nicking off to Neil Wagner, giving the home side a bit of sniff. Ollie Pope saw off a tricky period of bowling before it began raining and stumps were called.