Napier Test: Vettori, McCullum help Kiwis to take lead against Pakistan

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Napier (New Zealand), Dec. 12 (ANI): Skipper Daniel Vettori and his deputy Brendon McCullum today rescued New Zealand with a blazing 176-run partnership on the second day of the third cricket test against Pakistan here.

McCullum and Vettori's 100-run partnership took just 119 balls and the partnership ended a few minutes ago when McCullum was out for 89 off 103 balls caught in the gully off Umar Gul.

Television replays suggested that Gul may have bowled a no-ball.

New Zealand finished the day on 346 for six, a lead of 123 over Pakistan, with Vettori batting a magnificent 100 not out - his sixth tenth century which came off just 127 balls.

The Vettori-McCullm partnership was a far cry from the New Zealand batting effort in the middle session as Pakistani legspinner Danish Kaneria overcame a minor health scare to give the home side the wobbles.

Kaneria clutched at his chest after completing the second over after lunch and needed to lie down briefly before recovering to continue following a medical check-up.

However, he ended the session to tea in good heart, having improving his analysis to four for 55 from 21 overs as New Zealand were in danger of letting a position of dominance ebb away.

New Zealand were at 166 for five at tea - trailing by 57 runs on the first innings - withl Vettori 14 not out, and McCullum on 15.

Kaneria bowled unchanged through the middle session, removing key batsman Ross Taylor, topscorer Tim McIntosh and a struggling Daniel Flynn.

Resuming on 48 after lunch, McIntosh completed his second test half-century from 147 balls with a rare show of aggression when he unleashed a straight drive to the fence.

The cautious left-hander, who had scored just 37 runs in the first two tests, made the most of his reprieve late yesterday on nought when his leg before wicket dismissal was over-ruled by the umpire decision review system.

He threatened to add another century to his maiden test century here against the West Indies a year ago when Kaneria deceived him on 74.

Two balls after attempting a sweep against Kaneria, McIntosh repeated the shot and top edged gently to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal to end a 187-ball vigil that contained eight boundaries.

Taylor was Kaneria's first victim after lunch for 21 when a trademark slog sweep skied to Mohammad Yousuf on the move at backward square leg.

Flynn had a reprieve before scoring when he was given out leg before wicket by Rudi Koertzen. He immediately referred the dismissal to third umpire Simon Taufel, who confirmed Mohammad Asif's delivery pitched outside leg stump.

But there was no escape for Flynn when Billy Doctrove turned down a caught behind appeal. Kamran Akmal sought a review immediately and Taufel detected a noise from the pitch microphone, an outcome that continued the left-hander's poor series.

SCOREBOARD (stumps, second day):

Pakistan

First innings 223

New Zealand

T. McIntosh c K.Akmal b Kaneria 74 (187)

B. Watling c U.Akmal b Asif 18 (69)

M. Guptill lbw Kaneria 13 (47)

R. Taylor c Yousuf b Kaneria 21 (49)

D. Flynn c K.Akmal b Kaneria 5 (26)

D. Vettori not out 100 127)

B. McCullum c Faisal b Gul 89 (103)

D. Tuffey not out 13 (32)

T. Southee

I. O'Brien

C. Martin

Extras 13

Total(6wkts, 106 overs) 346

Fall: 1/60, 2/82, 3/118, 4/136, 5/145, 6/321

BOWLING

O M R W

M. Aamer 17 6 55 0

M. Asif 24 7 69 1

U. Gul 28 5 95 1

D. Kaneria 37 9 119 4 (ANI)

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