CHRISTCHURCH: Trent Boult and Tim Southee continued to exploit England`s inability to handle the swinging ball and captured three wickets for one run as the visitors slumped to 150 for five at tea on the first day of the second Test on Friday.
Boult and Southee, who had taken one wicket each in the first session at Hagley Oval, blew away the rest of England`s top order shortly after lunch by removing Joe Root, Dawid Malan and Mark Stoneman within the space of nine balls.
All-rounder Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, the last remaining recognised batsmen, halted the collapse but the visitors were still in desperate trouble after being put in by Kane Williamson.
Stokes, who scored a patient 66 in England`s second innings of the first Test, was on 25 and Bairstow 30. England need a win to stop New Zealand clinching their first series against them since 1999. The hosts won the first Test at Eden Park in Auckland by an innings and 49 runs.
Root and Stoneman, who had dragged England back into the game after Alastair Cook (two) and James Vince (18) had been dismissed in the first session, resumed after lunch on 70 for two. The pair were looking comfortable before Root played around a Southee delivery to be bowled for 37, which left England on 93 for three.
They plunged further into trouble when Malan was trapped in front by Boult on the first delivery he faced. Stoneman was then guilty of being creasebound as he failed to handle a Southee delivery moving away from him and was caught by Tom Latham at second slip three balls later.
The afternoon wickets followed the pattern of those earlier in the day. Boult removed Cook with a delivery that pitched on middle and seamed into the off stump, while Southee had the recalled Vince trapped in front to reduce the visitors to 38 for two.