Pakistan 209-3 at lunch chasing NZ''s 356 on day 3

Written by: Pti
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Wellington (New Zealand), Jan 17 (AP) Younis Khan andcaptain Misbah ul-Haq guided Pakistan to 209-3 at lunch on thethird day of the second test as New Zealand''s hopes ofleveling it''s two-match series faded Monday.

The match was evenly poised when play resumed withPakistan on 134-2 in reply to New Zealand''s first innings of356.

Seamer Chris Martin removed the overnight batsman AzharAli for 67 in the fifth over of the day, but Younis was 39 notout with Misbah on at the break in partnership worth 65 runs.

Daniel Vettori dismissed opener Taufeeq Umar for 70 withthe last ball of the second day, but New Zealand still neededquick wickets to have any chance of squaring the series afterPakistan''s 10-wicket win in the first test.

Martin summoned extra pace on an increasingly placidwicket to have Azhar caught at first slip by Ross Taylor. Theshort-pitched ball took Azhar by surprise, he sparred at itlooped it into the slip cordon where Taylor took an easycatch.

New Zealand needed to capitalize on the breakthrough tohave any chance of winning a match in which it still needs 17wickets with two days remaining. Only 13 wickets have fallenon the first three days.

The loss of Azhar brought together Younis and Misbah, themost experienced batting pair in the current Pakistan squad.

They showed that experience in resisting the New Zealandattack until lunch as Vettori used his own spin and the paceof Martin, Tim Southee and Brent Arnel in the hope of making afurther breakthrough.

Younis began his innings with the first ball of the day,after the fall of Pakistan''s wickets at stumps Sunday. Hequickly found the pace of the wicket and settled into aroutine of stout defense, leavened with five boundaries.

Misbah batted for 102 minutes by lunch in a watchfulinnings that included just three fours.

New Zealand remains in dire need of wickets in the secondsession Monday to have any chance of saving the series. Thebest hope of taking those wicket may be Vettori, who began tofind turn from the bowlers'' footmarks. (AP) AT

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