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January 17, 2011
Chris Martin believes New Zealand's wicket-filled final session was well deserved after they bowled with discipline for much of the third day at the Basin Reserve. The New Zealand attack reaped the rewards for relentlessly plugging away outside the off stump, as they picked up six Pakistan wickets for 82 runs in the evening session.
The visitors had been cruising to a handy first innings total at 286 for 3, before Younis Khan's dismissal on the stroke of tea began the slide for Pakistan, and they eventually limped past New Zealand's first innings total, to finish on 376.
"The way we felt we'd bowled, we maybe deserved a session like that," Martin said. "We kept our focus, kept our lines and kept our discipline. Sometimes you feel like it's gonna come and it's gonna come quickly and it definitely did in that last session."
Three of Martin's four wickets came in the third session, as he struck first to remove Abdur Rehman, then Misbah-ul-Haq for 99, before shaking up the lower order with a hostile barrage of short bowling and finishing the innings with Umar Gul's scalp.
"That spell at the end made me feel better about the day," he said. "We were trying pretty hard there for a while and things weren't really happening, so to be in the wickets in that stage of the day made the legs feel a bit better."
Martin and Tim Southee displayed plenty of aggression as they exchanged words with Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq during their 142-run stand. The New Zealand bowlers toiled for a wicket during fifty-one fruitless overs, but some early morning reverse-swing aside, there was little assistance for the fast men on the third day pitch.
"I had a go at Younis. I think it builds a certain attitude out there, and the guys feed off it. I know it only comes out of having a certain discipline with the ball, where the guys feel like they can step out and get stuck into the opposition. It's something New Zealand teams aren't really renowned for and perhaps we need to be at some point. We can't be nice guys all the time, especially on the park.
"It wasn't so much a ploy, but it just shows everyone that we are fully committed and fully in the fight. In the past we've been lacking that. It's not something we are going to be doing the whole time, but we definitely needed to be doing it on that pitch today."
Martin claimed the first session of day four would be crucial to New Zealand's ambitions of levelling the series. "All the clichés will ring true in the morning about batting that first session and seeing where we're at. They bowled quite a few overs to us in that first innings, and it's just a case of wearing them down and seeing where we're at later in the day."
The wearing pitch too will play a major role in the final two days as New Zealand look to exploit the turn on offer in the fourth innings through Daniel Vettori. "The amount of turn that's happening at the moment is a good thing and it's definitely going to end up with some uncomfortable moments later in the game. I'm glad we're not batting last on it and it's going to be something we need to think about tomorrow and get some good runs on the board. There will be an opportunity for Dan to come into the game quite strongly in that last afternoon."
Martin also said he was delighted at having been able to see Vettori to his sixth Test century, having survived four nervous deliveries on the second afternoon to allow his skipper to reach the landmark. "I pride myself on getting the guys from the nineties to the hundreds. If I can be remembered for anything with the bat, I hope that'll be it. I remember getting Jesse through in India last year as well. It's something that adds a little bit of spice and a little bit of intensity."
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