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December 4, 2009
Daniel Vettori, trying to regroup his troops after New Zealand were bowled out for 99, has said there was still time in the Test to stage a comeback. New Zealand conceded a 165-run first-innings lead to Pakistan after being bowled out inside 37 overs on day two in Wellington.
"Obviously the batting display, to only put 100 runs on the board, is not where we want to be," Vettori said. "It's a really tough day, particularly with how we played in Dunedin, to back it up with a performance like that is tough. But there's a lot of time left in the game and we've got to make sure that we don't give it up now."
New Zealand lead the series 1-0 after beating Pakistan in Dunedin. They scored 429 in the first innings but were bowled out for 153 in the second. However Shane Bond and Iain O'Brien managed to bowl out Pakistan for 218 in their chase of 251.
Vettori said a target of 400 would not be impossible to chase and mentioned New Zealand scoring 431 in an unsuccessful chase of England's 553 in Napier last year. He said the top-order batsmen would have to step up but added there was no need for them to change their technique against the Pakistan bowlers after the first-innings collapse.
"The only thing we can do is try and be as confident as possible. We all know they [batsmen] are good players, they all have runs at Test-match level and they're going to get an opportunity on a good deck come the fourth day, or hopefully tomorrow at some stage. They've got to believe and we've got to believe in them."
Mohammad Asif, the Pakistan fast bowler who took four wickets in the innings to take his series tally to 12, said 400 would be a good total for his side. New Zealand began their innings just before lunch and lost their first wicket in the first over when Mohammad Aamer had Martin Guptill caught for a duck. They lost three more wickets in the second session, going into tea at 77 for 4. In the first ten overs of the final session they lost their last six wickets for 22 runs. But Asif said the pitch did not greatly favour the bowlers. "The pitch didn't do a lot actually but if you bowl in the right area there is something happening."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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