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by Alastair Symondson Thursday 20 November 2014
New Zealand 403 & 167-6 (Taylor 77no) vPakistan 393 (Sarfraz Ahmed 112)Second Test, Dubai, day fourScorecard
Ross Taylor scored an unbeaten half-century to help New Zealand build a lead of 177 runs on day four of the second Test in Dubai after Sarfraz Ahmed hit a century for Pakistan.
Sarfraz hit 112 in 195 balls and put on 81 for the 10th wicket with Rahat Ali (16 not out) to haul Pakistan up to a total of 393 in reply to New Zealand's 403.
Spinners Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah then took three wickets apiece to put the Black Caps under pressure but Ross Taylor hit 77 not out to help New Zealand build a decent lead heading into the final day.
Pakistan resumed on 281 for six and were always going to rely heavily on Sarfraz to get them anywhere near New Zealand's score and - not for the first time in recent weeks - he delivered, scoring his third Test century.
He did so despite losing Yasir Shah (2) and Ehsan Adil (0) soon after play resumed, both falling to Tim Southee.
Zulfiqar helped him build a 25-run partnership, hitting five but it was the partnership with Rahat that brought Pakistan back into the game.
Rahat faced 49 balls for his 16 not out and at the other end, Sarfraz faced 195 for his 112, hitting 16 fours in all.
It finally took Brendon McCullum with his first Test wicket to end the innings when he had Sarfraz caught and bowled.
Southee (3-67), Trent Boult (2-69), Mark Caraig (1-117), Ish Sodhi (2-92), Jimmy Neesham (1-12) and McCullum (1-1) were New Zealand's wicket-takers.
With a lead of just 10 to start with, New Zealand started well, thanks to McCullum hitting 45 in 62 balls and they progressed to 42 before first-innings centurion Tom Latham was caught by Asad Shafiq off Yasir.
Latham reviewed the decision after it popped up to leg slip but with no clear evidence available to overturn the decision, Pakistan had their breakthrough.
They had another when Kane Williamson drove Zulfiqar to Taufeeq Umar at cover for 11 and when Zulfiqur trapped McCullum in front and Yasir bowled Corey Anderson for a four-ball duck, New Zealand were in a spot of bother at 79 for four.
Taylor joined forces with Neesham (11) to take the score past 100 only for Shah to bowl Neesham out of the rough and BJ Watling managed the same score before he too got a ball that took off and he edged Yasir to Shafiq at gully.
That wicket was just three balls before play was ended for the day, by which time Taylor had hit 10 fours in his 93-ball innings to keep New Zealand fighting.
Craig was unbeaten and yet to score.
Pakistan lead the three-match series 1-0 after a 248-run win in the opening match in Abu Dhabi.
© Cricket World 2014