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Rain end third day of NZ-Pak Test

New Zealand could claim a slight advantage when rain and bad light combined to cut short the third day of the first Test with Pakistan on 227 for four.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2003 12:08 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

New Zealand could claim a slight advantage when rain and bad light combined to cut short the third day of the first cricket Test here against Pakistan, with Pakistan at 227 for four in their first innings.

But more probable is the prospect of a draw unless the weather clears considerably and the New Zealand bowlers can overcome their inability to bowl a consistent length.

The tourists' hopes that Yasir Hameed would lead a strong fightback were dashed in the brief period of play after lunch when he played an indifferent shot to Daryl Tuffy, New Zealand's most effective bowler, and was trapped leg before on 80.

Pakistan need a further 127 runs with little batting depth remaining to avoid the follow on after New Zealand amassed 563 in their first innings.

But they can draw heart from the inability of the Black Caps bowling attack to sustain any real pressure, evidenced by the run rate of better than four an over for much of the innings before slowing to 3.72 as the light began to fade.

In the after lunch session, only 10 overs were possible before the players left the field and never returned, despite only intermittent rain and the use of the floodlights to counter the gloom at Westpac Park.

The umpires officially abandoned the day about three hours later with Inzamam-ul-Haq on 38 and Abdur Razzaq on 12.

Although some of the time can be made up by extending the periods of play over the final two days, the New Zealand bowlers need to secure a significant breakthrough if there is to be a result.

Only two wickets fell in less than three hours play Sunday including the inform Hameed who had looked a potent force for Pakistan.

He progressed comfortably from his overnight 36 to be 80 at lunch, but was dismissed soon after to give Tuffy his third wicket for 60 runs off 18 overs.

Tuffy had earlier captured Yousuf Youhana, caught ankle-high by Lou Vincent in slips for 28 in the first session of the day to go with his dismissal of Taufeeq Umar on Saturday.

First Published: Dec 21, 2003 11:51 IST