Christchurch, New Zealand: England Monday sensed a chance to end their woeful winless run in overseas Tests even though New Zealand will start the final day of the second Test with all 10 wickets still intact.
When bad light ended play 24 overs early in Christchurch, New Zealand were 42 without loss but still 340 runs short of their formidable 382-run target.
Tom Latham was not out 25 and Jeet Raval unbeaten on 17 after surviving a testing 23 overs before play ended more than an hour early.
England batsman-wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow said there were enough signs to believe the tourists' run of 12 away matches without a victory could be about to end.
But New Zealand were hopeful of a rare series victory against England if they can at least hang on for a draw after winning the first match in the two-Test series.
"There's definitely enough in the pitch for us to take the wickets," Bairstow said.
"We've beaten the bat consistently. Leachy (spinner Jack Leach) bowled three overs this evening and there were some chances created there."
England's new-ball pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad repeatedly pressured Latham and Raval, with one tough chance off Latham dropped by James Vince at third slip. Bairstow believed that "without a shadow of a doubt" his team were in charge.
But with 10 wickets in hand, New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan was eyeing what would be only the fourth series win over England in 36 series -- and the first since 1999.
"It would be huge. We love playing England. Series wins have been few and far between for New Zealand Test sides and in terms of history it will be very special," he said praising Latham and Raval for their stubborn start to the innings.
"It was really impressive. It was obviously a tough period against two world-class new ball bowlers.