Vettori optimistic of New Zealand's chances
After bowling Pakistan out for 239, New Zealand faced the daunting task of chasing down the fourth highest fourth-innings score with two days remaining in Wellington. But their captain, Daniel Vettori, despite another top-order collapse, had his sights trained on a series-clinching win.
"I think you have to," he said. "That's what our bowling performance has allowed us to do. To restrict them to that score was a fantastic effort from the seamers. It was a wonderful day's cricket for us, with the ball, and now we've got a partnership going so we've got to make sure that works tomorrow. It's a great deck too, so that's a positive."
Four wickets apiece for Chris Martin and Iain O'Brien, who today announced his retirement, helped wrestle New Zealand back in the game. Pakistan were at one stage 197 for 3 but ended up on 239.
Winning will not be easy, especially against an attack in form. Apart from Ross Taylor, batting on 15 at the close, New Zealand's middle order has failed to cope with Pakistan's attack. Most worrying was the batting performance in the first innings of this Test, when nobody stepped up against Umar Gul and Danish Kaneria. Yet Vettori was optimistic, especially given how Taylor and Peter Fulton batted 16.3 overs before stumps.
"There are no illusions," he said. "It's [a win] a long ways away and we just have to believe. Each individual is different in where they're at with their games but to come off tonight, having that partnership going, puts us in a lot better space than we were last night."