Kiwis and Pakistan finely poised

Hosts end day three 11 runs behind in their second innings after bowling out Pakistan for a first-innings 376.

    Misbah-ul-Haq fell one run short of his century after a 142-run partnership with Younus Khan [GALLO/GETTY]

    New Zealand were nine without loss at the close of the third day's play of the second Test after Pakistan had been bowled out for 376, a lead of 20, shortly before stumps in Wellington.

    Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill safely negotiated the five overs they needed to face to ensure New Zealand would begin the fourth day on Tuesday with an 11-run deficit as they look to square the series.
    Pakistan lead the two-match series 1-0 after a 10-wicket victory in Hamilton. They have not won a Test series since they beat West Indies 2-0 at home in November 2006.

    Captain Misbah-ul-Haq had led from the front for Pakistan, falling one run short of his third Test century and having shared in a 142-run partnership with Younus Khan.
    The 36-year-old skipper had been incredibly patient as he clawed his way to 99 off 206 balls, but shuffled across his stumps to try to force a Martin delivery to the leg-side only to be hit in front and given out lbw.

    Chris Martin, who had bowled an impressive spell between lunch and tea without reward, captured four for 91 while New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori finished with 4-100.
    Vettori and Martin took three quick wickets after tea with Asad Shafiq caught at first slip off Vettori for a duck, Adnan Akmal caught by Martin off Vettori following a dreadful attempted sweep for 22, before Abdul Rehman (five) looped a catch to McCullum off Martin.


    "We were trying pretty hard there for a while and things weren't really happening... the way we felt we had bowled maybe we deserved a session like that," Martin said of the six Pakistani wickets that fell in the final session.

    "We kept our focus, kept our lines and kept our disciplines and I think sometimes you feel like it's going to come and it's going to come quickly and it definitely did in that last session."
    The day had a hint of controversy with Younus given out caught in close by Jesse Ryder for 73 off Vettori on the final ball before the tea break.

    Television replays showed the ball had ballooned off Younus's pad, without touching his bat, to Ryder at forward short leg.

    It was the seventh decision in the match that could have potentially been overturned by the umpire review system, which is not in use in the series, though Younus was philosophical.

    "It was a good partnership with the captain, we were a little bit unlucky because it was 150 runs partnership and we could have gone on," Younus said.

    "It's the nature of the game, the umpires are human. You can't blame anyone for the decision.

    "In future we need it regularly in the test game and one-dayers, and also Twenty20 as well."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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