Williamson reaches record ton as rain stalls dominant NZ

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Kane Williamson's New Zealand-record 18th Test century brightened an otherwise wet and gloomy day two as the hosts tightened their grip on the first Test against England on Friday.

In his first Test innings that year, he made 113 against India at Eden Park and scored another three hundred before 2014 was out, two in West Indies and one against Pakistan in UAE.

Just 26 overs have been bowled since the start of the second day, with the Black Caps extending their lead from 117 to 175 in that time, losing only Kane Williamson in the process.

Williamson's was the only wicket on day two in Auckland after rain stopped play.

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Williamson (102) completed his century, going one above team-mate Ross Taylor and Kiwi great Martin Crowe, before James Anderson saw him off with the second new ball.

Further rain is forecast for the three remaining days and more lost time could be England's only hope of avoiding defeat in the match.

Williamson had rebuilt the New Zealand innings from one for eight in their reply to England's 58, to 206 for four when he was eventually dismissed.

"You're obviously wanting to take wickets, but when you're in that huddle and the guys are getting around you for the job you're doing at your end, you still feel like you're still contributing to him taking the wickets", Southee said.

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Thorpe said that for the health of Test cricket it would be a definite help to have a bigger warm-up window for touring sides but insisted there were "no excuses" for England's first-day batting performance.

Only a tenth-wicket stand of 31 and an unbeaten 33 from Craig Overton salvaged the most modest of pride as Trent Boult and Tim Southee swung their way towards victory in the opening hours. "Being caged up for a couple of days, it's important when we do go out and bowl that we hit our areas from the start".

"The important thing is what happens in the rest of the game and the confidence of the players, trying to clear your minds", Thorpe said.

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