He promptly swept Root for a four and two sixes to bring up his 19th Test hundred and two balls later, the covers were being brought on.
Rory Burns was on 24 at the close of play, having survived two dropped catches, with captain Joe Root on six and looking uncomfortable at the crease as he battles with a precipitous drop in form over the a year ago. Many things have been said potentially in recent times: "not scoring runs since a batter could include other things in the equation, which is not necessarily true".
With Root and Burns putting on 177 for the third wicket, England found the "bat-long" partnership they had been searching for in their attempt to follow the same recipe New Zealand used to win the first Test.
The moment marked the first time since September a year ago that two Englishmen have amassed Test hundreds in the same innings - when Root and Sir Alastair Cook did so in the latter's last Test against India at The Oval. "If we bat through the whole of tomorrow and we go past New Zealand, we can apply some pressure in the second innings - if we don't go and get 400, we can't".
Woakes took two for 41 on his recall, having been left out of the innings-and-65-run defeat in Mount Maunganui which means this Test is a must-win if England are to square the series in their final obligation of this tour.
"England still has to think that there will be 98 overs on days four and five", said David Lloyd.
Burns, however, remained hopeful, saying: "There's still a fair bit of batting there, it's about getting as far ahead of them as we can now and see what we can enforce".
Since Joe Root became Test Captain, no Englishman takes the bat on average more than him.
Joe Root, who has been out of form in the series, was not out six. In the beginning he was too balancing, his head was out of line with the stump and he had no firm basis to push and come forward. "So it's disappointing to get lost that way, because it could have been great".
The pair went past half-centuries before lunch and after that there were remarkably few alarms for a side whose batting has been constantly under scrutiny as Burns and Root settled into a patient rhythm. He is willing to save time and wait for bowlers to come to him.
Jofra Archer bowled just three deliveries of the 55th over with New Zealand unable to add to their score of 173-3 before rain swept across the area and ground staff rushed to cover the wicket block and parts of the outfield. If we're able to grab a couple of wickets early then I guess it's up to us to finish it off.