Wellington, Jan 17 (AP) Misbah ul-Haq was dismissed justa run short of his century as Daniel Vettori took four wicketsto keep New Zealand''s hopes alive in the second test againstPakistan on the third day today.
Pakistan was all out for 376 - a first innings lead ofjust 20 - and New Zealand was 9 without loss at the close ofplay.
Pakistan captain Misbah toiled for more than five hourstoward his third test century but was denied when he wastrapped lbw by Chris Martin on 99 off the 207th ball of hisinnings.Pakistan''s lead was made possible by a 142-run,fourth-wicket partnership between Misbah and Younis Khan (73)which occupied the first two sessions of the third day andfrustrated New Zealand''s hunt for a series-leveling win.
New Zealand captain Vettori took 4-100, dismissingTaufeeq Umar for 70 with the last ball of the second day,Younis Khan with the last ball before tea today, Asad Shafiqfor 0 and Adnan Akmal for 22 as New Zealand reined inPakistan, which had been cruising toward a first innings leadat 286-3.
Younis was desperately unlucky to be given out when hewas judged caught close in by Jesse Ryder off Vettori, afterhe had worked for almost four hours with Misbah to givePakistan the upper hand. Television replays indicated Younisdid not get an inside edge before the ball flew to Ryder onthe leg side.
The decision broke Pakistan''s stranglehold on the match.
Vettori struck twice soon after tea and Martin added thewickets of Abdur Rehman for 5 and Umar Gul for 19 as Pakistanlost its last five wickets for 52 runs.
Martin finished with 4-91 as New Zealand tried tocontrive a result with 20 wickets still at stake in the game''slast two days.
New Zealand started the day positively when Martindismissed the overnight batsman Azhar Ali for 67 in the fifthover as Pakistan added only 10 runs to its overnight total of134-2. (MORE) AP SNK
But it needed to strike further and quickly into Pakistan''s middle order to take any form of control in thematch and to have any chance of leveling the series whichPakistan leads 1-0 after winning the first test by 10 wickets.
Younis and Misbah denied them that opportunity, survivingthe remainder of the first session and all of the second untilYounis fell to the last ball before team.The pair batted superbly, with absolute diligence andrestraint, raising their century partnership in 150 minutesand posting their half centuries in relatively quicksuccession. Younis reached the milestone in 158 minutes from102 balls with his eighth boundary and Misbah followed in 156minutes, from 105 balls with a cracking boundary off TimSouthee.
The loss of Younis at a critical point in the day sentthe Pakistan innings into decay. New Zealand limited its leadto 20 runs and defrayed all but of those runs without the lossof a wicket before stumps. (AP) SNK