New Zealand strike early against Pakistan

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Wellington, Jan 16 (AFP) Pakistan suffered acontroversial early blow as they mounted their response to NewZealand''s first innings 356 on the second day of the secondTest at the Basin Reserve here today.

At tea, Pakistan were 34 for one with Mohammad Hafeez(one) given out caught behind by wicketkeeper Reece Young offTim Southee in the second over.

But it was not clear from television replays whether theaudible nick was bat on ball or bat on pad.

Taufeeq Umar on 17 and Azhar Ali on 16 cautiously heldtheir own without incident through to the break as Pakistanlooked to secure the two-Test series after easily wrapping upthe first Test inside three days.

New Zealand, seeking a more committed batting effort inthe second Test, were in trouble again at 180 for six beforecaptain Daniel Vettori brought a level of respectability tothe score with his sixth Test century.

Vettori, who put on 138 with Reece Young (57) for theseventh wicket, was the last man out for 110, compiled innearly four hours at the crease and including 10 fours and asix.

There were nerve-wracking moments towards the end forVettori, who was on 96 when New Zealand''s last batsman ChrisMartin joined him in the middle.

Martin is recognised as one of the worst batsmen in Testcricket and he received a huge ovation from the crowd for eachball he survived as Vettori worked his way to three figures,bringing up his century with a single to fine leg.

New Zealand had resumed the second day at 246 for six andreached 318 before Young was dismissed just before lunch,caught behind by Adnan Akmal off Tanvir Ahmed, while TimSouthee (one) and Brent Arnel (one) fell soon after the break.

Paceman Umar Gul finished with the best figures forPakistan, four for 87 from 32 overs, while Tanvir took threefor 93 from 25.

Left arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who had the difficult taskof bowling a marathon spell into the strong northerly wind,ended with two for 96 from 45.1 overs.

Wicketkeeper Akmal took six catches in the innings, oneshort of the world record. AFP SSC

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