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Taylor defiant as Kiwis melt down

Pakistan again exposed the brittleness of the New Zealand batting line up when they reduced the Black Caps to 246 for six at stumps on the first day of the second Test today.

cricket Updated: Jan 15, 2011 12:33 IST

Pakistan again exposed the brittleness of the New Zealand batting line up when they reduced the Black Caps to 246 for six at stumps on the first day of the second Test today.

In what has become a familiar pattern in recent Tests, the New Zealand lower order was asked to prop up the innings after the top order had largely failed.

Apart from a stubborn 78 by Ross Taylor there was little of substance in the face of a bowling attack which toiled away on a pitch that held few demons.

Taylor reached 78, his 11th Test half century, while the next highest score was captain Daniel Vettori, the number eight batsman, who was unbeaten on 38 at stumps.

Vettori and Reece Young (28 not out) have put on 66 for the seventh wicket, closing in on the highest partnership of 68 by Taylor and James Franklin for the fifth wicket.

But around them there was carnage as Umar Gul snapped up two for 53, Tanvir Ahmed two for 63 and Abdur Rehman one for 53 while five of the dismissals were caught behind by wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal.

After New Zealand's humiliating loss inside three days in the first Test coach John Wright and captain Vettori stressed the need for the batsmen to show perseverance and patience.

But, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, the game plan of dogged resistance was immediately abandoned with senior batsman Brendon McCullum out for two, leg before wicket to Gul, on the last ball of the first over.

Gul also claimed the wicket of Kane Williamson for 21 and was unlucky not to get Martin Guptill, on five, when the ball was edged to Akmal but in the strong wind umpire Daryl Harper did not hear the nick and gave Guptill not out.

It was a short-lived reprieve as Guptill reached 29 before Tanvir Ahmed broke through just after lunch, removing the opener and Jesse Ryder in successive balls, both caught behind as New Zealand slumped to 98 for four.

James Franklin joined Taylor at the crease and they launched a rescue mission which took New Zealand to 166 before Franklin attempted to turn left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman down the leg side and Akmal snapped up a smart catch.

New Zealand only added 14 more runs before Taylor edged the first ball of a new spell by Wahab Riaz and his long stand was over leaving the tail exposed.

However, on a placid wicket and with the Pakistani bowlers tiring in the blustery conditions Vettori and Young were able to negotiate their way to stumps and in the process they saw off the first eight overs with the new ball.