All even in NZ-Pak Test on Day 3

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Published: Monday, January 17, 2011, 11:50 [IST]
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All even in NZ-Pak Test on Day 3

On Day 3 of the second Test between New Zealand and Pakistan, the Kiwis bowled out the visitors for 376 with Misbah-ul-Haq making 99 and Vettori and Martin taking 4 wickets each, thus conceding a 20-run lead, before New Zealand was 9/0 at stumps. The match is hence evenly poised with the hosts trailing the visitors by just 11 runs with all wickets in hand.

Day 3 began with No. 4 Pakistan batsman Younis Khan joining Azhar Ali, who was resuming batting on his overnight score of 62, with Pakistan 134/2 in 50 overs and trailing New Zealand by 222 runs. In just the 5th over of the day, the hosts got a breakthrough when pace bowler Chris Martin had Ali snapped up by Ross Taylor at slip for 67. Pakistan were 144/3 in 54.4 overs.

Younis counter-attacked by smacking Martin for two consecutive fours in his next over as Pakistan crossed 150. The new batsman - captain Misbah-ul-Haq - countered the spin of Vettori and the pace of Southee well and began building a useful partnership with Younis. In fact Misbah took Pakistan over 200 with a four off Vettori in the 76th over. Pakistan then went into lunch at a healthy 209/3.

After lunch, Misbah carried on from where he had left off, smashing Brett Arnel for two back-to-back fours in the 83rd over. Three overs later, Younis struck Martin for a four to bring up his fifty as Pakistan moved onto 237/3. The boudnaries kept coming at a regular rate, as Pakistan threatened to take the match away from New Zealand. The tourists crossed 250in the 90th over.

Several quiet overs followed till in the 105th over, Misbah cut loose again, striking Arnel for two boundaries to take Pakistan to 280/3. But just when it looked like the Kiwis would have to keep toiling for a wicket, Vettori had Younis caught at shot leg by Jesse Ryder, for 73. Misbah counter-attacked from the other end, clubbing Southee for two fours in the 107th over. But Vettori struck back in the next over when he had Asad Shafiq caught by Ross Taylor at slip, for a duck. Pakistan were in some trouble at 295/5.

In the following over, new batsman Adnan Akmal picked Soutghee for 3 runs to take Pakistan to 300. Akmal seemed to have found a comfortabel groove, smashing Southee for two fours in the 113th over, but was out soon after when he tried to slog Vettori only to get a fatal top-edge. Adnan was on his way for 22 and Pakistan were 324/6.

Then, in a dramatic 121st over, Martin dismissed Abdur Rehman for 5, before the new batsman Umar Gul, struck him for two fours. A few overs later, Gul went after Vettori, subjecting him to similar treatment as Pakistan crossed the 350-mark and took the lead. But in a tragedy of circumstance, Misbah was trapped in front by Martin for 99 and Pakistan had slumped to 362/8. The wickets of Gul and Tanvir Ahmed followed soon after as Pakistan folded for 376, thus taking a slim lead of 20 runs over New Zealand.

New Zealand began their second innings with openers Martyn Guptill and Brendon McCullum not out at stumps with the score at 9/0 after 5 overs.


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