Pakistan eke out 99-run lead

2009-12-14 10:45

Napier - Pakistan were 347 for four at stumps on the fourth day of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Napier on Monday, enjoying an overall lead of 99 runs. 

On a slow day where rain interrupted play more than once, the visitors nearly shot themselves in the foot as - within the first 30 minutes of the day - they managed to lose both openers to inoccuous deliveries from part-time off-spinner Martin Guptill.

Three balls into the day, Salman Butt gifted his wicket as he lobbed a ball back to the bowler for his overnight score of 66.

Imran Farhat tried the same a few overs later and succeeded - dismissed for 61.

Pakistan skipper Mohammad Yousuf combined with Faisal Iqbal for a 128-run partnership, combining superb shot-making with huge chunks of luck. Both batsmen played streaky drives through the slip-and-gully region, and Ross Taylor muffed a simple chance in the slips off Iqbal.

One over before tea, however, Taylor made amends for his lapse, as Iqbal forgot to move his feet to a short-of-a-length delivery from Chris Martin and the resulting edge found the grateful fielder at first slip.

Younus quietly continued at the other end, reaching his 31st test half-centurywith a scampered single off Daryl Tuffey.

Yousuf, together with youngster Umar Akmal continued after the break, and the latter impressed once more with power and flair.

Though rain intervened, the captain's wicket came quite unexpectedly as he needlessly fended at an Iain O'Brien delivery and was caught behind the stumps for 89. It was an innings of great patience - using up all of 212 balls - some would even say it lacked total impetus and drive.

Whatever the case may be, he guided the younger Akmal through periods of youthful exuberance that might easily have resulted in his early departure.

It did the trick, however and at stumps, the 19-year old Akmal was unbeaten on 48 off 84 deliveries.


New Zealand: TG McIntosh, BJ Watling, MJ Guptill, DR Flynn, LRPL Taylor, DL Vettori (capt), BB McCullum (wk), TG Southee, DR Tuffey, IE O'Brien, CS Martin.

Pakistan: Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf (capt), Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria.