Lunch New Zealand:- 431 and 98 for 0 (Blundell 59*, Latham 36*)
Pakistan:- 239 by 290 runs
Tom Blundell and Tom Latham stretched New Zealand’s result in 290 throughout a wicketless first session on day 4, leaving New Zealand with the query of when to declare and with what kind of lead. Whereas they are going to be happy with their openers’ second-innings shows, they can even be slightly involved over how little assist the Bay Oval floor provided the Pakistan bowlers, who seemed tidy however removed from penetrative.
New Zealand vs Pakistan
This pitch has to date performed like the standard New Zealand strip during the last six years or so: a green seamer that has flattened out progressively with the little signal of degradation.
Mohammad Abbas seemed essentially the most threatening of Pakistan’s bowlers throughout his new-ball spell, testing the openers’ judgment with tight strains round off stump, and only a trace of seam motion. Slanting the ball throughout Tom Latham, he produced the one passage of play when the ball dominated bat, discovering the left-hander’s edge thrice in two overs just for the ball to fall in need of the slips cordon every time.
There was just one different actual second of concern thereafter when Faheem Ashraf received one to scoot by at ankle top and sneak underneath a drive from Blundell, lacking off stump by a matter of inches. Unsure bounce has been essentially the most important menace to batsmen on this pitch for the reason that early seam motion has light away, and Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner will probably be particularly eager to take advantage of it.
In any other case, it was easy cruising for the openers, with Blundell making a formidable comeback into the runs after scores of 14, 14 and 5 in his first three Test innings of the summer. He appeared to get into higher positions than in the course of the first innings, with an extra pronounced back-and-across set off serving to him break his inertia and get his toes transferring.
He took slightly time settling, with the shortage of tempo off the pitch inflicting him to mistime a number of his drives, however after the drinks break he flowed easily, wanting particularly sturdy on the pull and the minimize, and reached his fifty off 87 balls.
Latham solely hit two fours by the session – and one got here off the sting – however, grew more and more assured the longer he stayed on the crease. He used the sweep effectively as at all times, with Yasir Shah getting little of the sharp flip or bounce that he extracted in the course of the first innings. Whereas which may concern Pakistan on the one hand, it’d reassure them on the opposite, given the period of time their batsmen will probably spend within the centre to get something out of this contest.