Wellington: The wicket of a well-established batsman on the last ball of the day, and one delivery that pitched, bit and turned sideways, had New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori looking forward to the third day of the second Test against Pakistan.
Vettori, who scored his sixth Test century before he was last man out in New Zealand’s first innings of 356, gave his side some late hope when he had Taufeeq Umar well caught by Martin Guptill on the last delivery of the second day.
Taufeeq’s dismissal for 70 reduced Pakistan to 134 for two, after the opener had combined in a 132-run partnership with Azhar Ali (62) following the early loss of Mohammad Hafeez for one.
“It made the day a little easier,” Vettori told reporters at the Basin Reserve. “It was a great catch and to be able to walk off the park with them two down and a new batsmen makes things a little easier, but we’ve got a big first session tomorrow."
“That’s probably going to set up the game if we’ve got a chance of winning it.”
While Vettori was pleased with the late wicket, one ball he bowled earlier in the day to Taufeeq bit sharply out of the footmarks and while the batsmen got an inside edge on to his pads and the ball was caught by Reece Young he was given not out.
“There’s a spot there definitely, there’s a little bit in there,” Vettori added of the delivery on the pitch that had offered little assistance to the pace bowlers.
“There were a couple that turned and there are some footmarks developing ... even to the right-hander a couple jumped. “I think if I can bowl well I can play a big role in the game.”
Vettori said he felt pleased with his team’s score, particularly after he and Young had combined when New Zealand were struggling at 180 for six to move through to 318 before Young was dismissed for 57.
“It was pleasing given the situation we were in.”
“Reece and myself were able to put on that partnership and we thought 350 was a par score after winning the toss and batting, so we were pretty happy to be in that position.”
“Another couple of wickets tonight would have made it really nice but we’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at.
“I think if we could keep them to around our score, that would be great."
“We’ve obviously got to step up in our third innings and make sure we perform a lot better than we have and then it’s going to be trickier as the game goes on.”