Cricket: Solid start for England against New Zealand

England bounced back from the early loss of captain Alastair Cook to reach 75 for one at lunch against New Zealand on the opening day of the second Test at Wellington's Basin Reserve Thursday.

Nick Compton was unbeaten on 34 at the break with Jonathan Trott 23 not out after the tourists lost the toss and were sent in to bat by Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum.

McCullum admitted he was taking a risk in the search for early wickets and the gamble appeared to have paid off when Neil Wagner dismissed Cook for 17 in the first hour, leaving England 26-1.

Cook, who made a second innings 116 in the drawn first Test in Dunedin, misjudged an in-swinging delivery and scooped the ball to Peter Fulton at mid-on.

Overcast conditions gave way to blue skies as the session wore on and the pitch failed to provide the early bounce New Zealand were looking for, with England's batsmen looking comfortable at the crease.

Compton, who also notched a century in Dunedin, appeared full of confidence after taking 23 minutes to get off the mark, striking four fours and building a 49-run partnership with Trott.

Despite the draw in the rain-affected first Test, the tourists remain firm favourites for the three-Test series.

New Zealand, ranked eighth in Test cricket, have not won a series against England since 1999, with their sole series victory on home soil back in 1984.