Moin Khan saves Pakistan's blushes
Close New Zealand 563 and 4 for 0 lead Pakistan 463 (Moin 137, Tuffey 5-87) by 104 runs
Moin Khan swatted, swished and clubbed his way to a career-best 137
Moin Khan produced a Test-best 137 at a time when Pakistan needed it, and took his team out of the woods in the first Test against New Zealand. After Moin led his team to 463, New Zealand faced two overs and were 4 for 0 at stumps on the fourth day. Play will start half an hour early, at 10.30am, on the final day, to make up for time lost because of rain.
Moin came to the wicket when Inzamam-ul-Haq fell to the new ball. And despite losing Abdul Razzaq soon after, Moin found a staunch, if unlikely, ally in Mohammad Sami to see Pakistan past the follow-on mark of 364.
The day had been cut short because of overnight rain and only half an hour's play was possible before lunch. Fourteen tentative runs were added in that time, after Inzamam survived a first-ball chance when Lou Vincent dropped a catch in the gully region off Chris Cairns's bowling.
Inzamam scored his 34th half-century but then fell to Daryl Tuffey, clearly New Zealand's best bowler. Tuffey, operating with the new ball, beat Inzamam with successive balls that slipped past the bat, and then got one inside it that trapped him leg-before. Razzaq had demonstrated some of the touches that made him such a fearless hitter at the death in the recent one-day series against New Zealand, and was on 48 when he nicked a rare leg-side ball from Tuffey and Robbie Hart took the chance low down.
Pakistan still required 79 runs to avoid the follow-on, and Moin and Sami had to contend with an improved New Zealand bowling approach. Chris Cairns and Ian Butler found better rhythm. Butler was especially unlucky in having good yorker balls take the inside edge, miss the stumps and go for boundaries on several occasions. He hit Moin once when he ducked into a shorter one, but in a show of the type of mood he was in, Moin clouted the next ball back down the pitch for four.
Moin survived a close call for a run-out when taking on Cairns's arm from the outfield. It took a long look at video evidence before Tony Hill, the third umpire, was able to rule that he had just made his ground.
Moin brought up his 50 off 75 balls, and then freed up once the follow-on mark had been passed, using some more innovative shots. He brought up his fourth Test century by hitting a boundary, a six and another boundary off successive balls from Daniel Vettori. He and Sami shared the only century partnership of Pakistan's innings, adding 152 before Vettori finally had Sami caught at the wicket 25 (437 for 7). Soon after Jacob Oram trapped Moin leg-before for 137 and Pakistan were 453 for 8.
Daryl Tuffey bowled his heart out, and was rewarded with a five-wicket haul
Tuffey was outstanding. He secured his sixth five-wicket bag in Tests and was consistent in his line on or about off stump. He was tireless and his work was rewarded. Ian Butler polished off the last two wickets and Pakistan were all out for 463.
There was still some excitement left in the day when New Zealand batted out a small passsage of play. Mark Richardson hit a four off the first ball of the second innings, and then at the end of the over appeared to have a disagreement with Mohammad Sami, who had bowled his most fiery over of the match.