Vettori helps New Zealand gain advantage
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:McLean Park, Napier
Scorecard:New Zealand v Pakistan
Player:BB McCullum, DL Vettori, TG McIntosh
Event:Pakistan in New Zealand 2009/10

DateLine: 12th December 2009


New Zealand continued to stamp their authority over the match as the batsmen barring Taylor came good for the first time in the series. McIntosh with his career on line put his head down to grind out a patient half-century while Vettori made a fighting century to help his side end on top of Pakistan. Of the bowlers only Kaneria posed any sort of threat to the Kiwi batsmen while the seamers after excellent performance in the previous two Tests failed to deliver.


The Kiwi openers, McIntosh and Watling carried on their good work from their last evening as they looked quite comfortable in the middle. The pair batted quite slowly as they were willing to take their time and wait for the bad balls. The Pakistani bowlers bowled a tight line and length but unsurprisingly were nonthreatening. The opening pair added 60 for the first wicket in 26.1 overs before Mohammad Asif made the first breakthrough when he had Watling (18) caught at backward point. Guptill (13) soon departed when Kaneria got into the act as he trapped the right=hander leg-before. Taylor (21) never looked comfortable during his initial moments but just as he warmed up by slamming Asif for three boundaries in an over but Kaneria put a spanner in his work when Taylor's ambitious slog sweep ended in the hands of Yousuf.


McIntosh batted with great amount of patience to reach a well-deserved half-century before he was dismissed for 74 which had consumed 187 balls when his intended sweep ended up in the hands of keeper Kamran. Flynn's arduous stay at the crease during which he scored 5 runs of 26 balls ended when a googly from Kaneria consumed the southpaw. It was at that time that McCullum and Vettori joined hands to score a scintillating century run partnership. The pair added 176 in 34.2 overs before McCullum fell for 89 which consumed just 103 balls, a knock that included eleven boundaries and one six.


Tuffey used the long handle to some good effect as Vettori edged towards his century. Vettori was dropped on 97 by Kaneria of his own bowling when he smashed one straight back at the bowler. But the leggie dropped the offering in the process hurting his spinning finger. But the skipper kept his cool to compose a well-deserved century in 125 balls as he took New Zealand to 346 for the loss of 6 wickets with an overall lead of 123 runs with four wickets remaining.