London: Ryan Sidebottom turned in a miserly spell of four wickets for five runs in 10.1 overs Friday as New Zealand were bowled out for 277 on the second day of the first Test here at Lord's.
Openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook then built on Sidebottom's good work and England, at stumps, were 68 without loss.
Strauss was 24 not out and fellow left-hander Cook 43 not out when a fifth stoppage in the day for bad light ended play prematurely, much to the annoyance of a crowd where some spectators had paid as much as 65 pounds (130 dollars) for a ticket.
Cook was particularly harsh on Tim Southee, striking the pace bowler for three fours in an over in what was only the teenager's second Test.
Considering New Zealand had been 104 for five, in overcast, seam-bowler friendly conditions after losing the toss, theirs was a fine recovery.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori did his best to keep England at bay with 48 before he was last man out, bowled by Sidebottom.
Vettori's innings supplemented wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum's excellent run-a-ball 97 which began New Zealand's fightback on Thursday.
Sidebottom finished with innings figures of four for 55 in 28.2 overs.
The Nottinghamshire left-arm quick's haul was all the more impressive as he didn't take a wicket until his 24th over.
New Zealand's enduringly fragile top-order has often left Vettori needing to revive an innings and they badly needed the spinner's runs on Friday.
Sidebottom, the Black Caps' tormentor-in-chief with 24 wickets during England's 2-1 Test series win in New Zealand in March, found his line after a wicketless first day.
Vettori, however, guided his side nearer 300 with three well-struck fours in as many balls off James Anderson.
He was in sight of his 17th Test fifty when he was bowled by Sidebottom after making a late decision to try to leave the ball.
In all, he batted for 162 minutes and faced 100 balls with six fours.
New Zealand, after Sidebottom, aided by Strauss's slip catch, removed al-rounder Jacob Oram for 28, looked as if they might get through the morning session for the loss of just one wicket.
But with the second delivery with the new ball, Sidebottom bowled Kyle Mills with an inswinger.