WELLINGTON: Pakistan dismissed New Zealand for 293 at stumps after a dynamic late spell from Umar Gul threw the second Test at the Basin Reserve wide open heading into the final day.
Honours were even on the fourth day, with New Zealand’s openers finally clicking to post a 120-run stand and Pakistan then taking seven wickets for 112 in the final session to give themselves a second innings target of 274.
Gul was the pick of Pakistan’s bowlers, producing reverse swing to take four wickets to 61 runs – including first innings centurion Daniel Vettori (1) – supported by Abdur Rehman with figures of three for 119.
The result set up an intriguing final day as the hosts seek to defend a creditable total on a wearing pitch and Pakistan chase their first Test series win since 2006 when they beat the West Indies. Already 1-0 up in the series, the visitors will be content to bat out the day for a draw if Wellington’s weather interrupts play as forecasted.
Hosts set stiff target
The hosts appeared to be heading for a big total when Brendon McCullum (64) and Martin Guptill (73) began the second innings with a 120-run stand.
The opening partnership, only the second to make 100 for the Black caps since 2004, was broken when left-arm spinner Rehman tempted McCullum into an ambitious shot just after lunch that Tanvir Ahmed took comfortably at long off.
From there, only Ross Taylor (52) offered any serious resistance as New Zealand’s batting frailties were again exposed when the home side tried to push up the run-rate and set an imposing target.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2011.
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