With the hosts' bowlers prepared to take on the short-pitched deliveries, England quickly wrapped up the innings as mistimed shots from New Zealand's batsmen ended up in the hands of the boundary fielders. The third-wicket partnership of 177 runs formed the platform as England reached Tea with 218 for 3, their deficit down to 157 runs with skipper Joe Root eyeing a century of his own.
The 28-year-old has always been considered one of the premiere batsmen in world cricket and often bracketed with India's Virat Kohli, Australia's Steve Smith and New Zealand's Kane Williamson as a "big-four".
"Ben has some pain in his left knee and will be assessed on whether he can bowl during the rest of this innings", an England statement read.
Although Ollie Pope was considered the leading contender to replace Buttler if he could not take the gloves, Root said there were a number of other possibilities which would depend on a pitch inspection before the toss. "He felt some discomfort at the end of his second over earlier today".
England could be forced into following New Zealand and make an injury-enforced change to their side for the second test starting tomorrow at Seddon Park in Hamilton with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler under a cloud.
The two men who will walk out this morning are Rory Burns, dropped twice yesterday, and Joe Root, suddenly under reams of news-print pressure over the captaincy.
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Ferguson has played for New Zealand in limited overs internationals and was brought into the test squad for the England series, but released for the first match with Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner the pace-bowling trio.
Latham appeared comfortable from the start of play and reached his 11th test century from 159 balls with 15 fours to rise to 10th on New Zealand's all-time test scoring list.
He also had a nervous wait on 79 after England reviewed an lbw appeal from Chris Woakes that was initially turned down.
Jeet Raval (five) and captain Kane Williamson (four) were both snapped up by Root in the slips inside the first hour after Broad and Woakes found some movement off the pitch.
"Latham scored a fantastic hundred", Woakes said.
"We knew that this was a possibility when we selected the squad and I'm quite happy that Popey's got the capability of doing a good job for us". "He's a very good player, his record suggests that as well".