x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Vettori falls just short of fifth Test century

The Black Caps finished a rain-shortened second day on 404 for eight, with McCullum (78) and the captain Daniel Vettori (99) putting on 164 for the seventh wicket.

Daniel Vettori was out for 99 yesterday.
Daniel Vettori was out for 99 yesterday.

Brendon McCullum has urged New Zealand's bowlers to match the performance of the team's batsmen if they hope to win the first Test against Pakistan in Dunedin. The Black Caps finished a rain-shortened second day on 404 for eight, with McCullum (78) and the captain Daniel Vettori (99) putting on 164 for the seventh wicket. "There are still three days to go in the game and we've got a good, sizeable first-innings total so if we bowl well then hopefully we will give ourselves a real opportunity," the wicketkeeper said.

"The wicket is pretty good but it certainly does have a little bit in it if you bend your back. "We've obviously got to strike them pretty early to give ourselves a real strong chance but we've got the bowlers to do it so I think we can." Vettori was dismissed one run short of his fifth Test ton when he edged Umar Gul to Kamran Akmal, while McCullum was Gul's first scalp when he was outdone by a superb yorker on the stroke of lunch which left the hosts on 375 for seven.

The teams managed only 14 minutes of play in the second session before the rain kept them off the field for more than three and a half hours, but McCullum was confident that despite losing time a result was still possible. McCullum and Vettori came together in the final session of the opening day when New Zealand were struggling on 211 for six. McCullum said the aim had been to get the team through to the end of day two.

"We were in a pretty dicey sort of position at 211 for six so to be able to combine in that sort of partnership and get our team through to four sessions was something that we aimed for at the start of the game. To manage to do that was very satisfying," McCullum added. "It would have been nice to have gone on and scored a hundred at my home ground but it wasn't to be. "I thought it was a pretty good ball that got me out and people are allowed to bowl good balls every now and then.

McCullum said his captain, who surpassed Shane Warne's record of 2005 runs batting at No 8, was disappointed to have fallen agonisingly short of three figures. "He's happy with the position we're in and he's obviously happy with the contribution he's made but he's disappointed to miss out on what would have been a brilliant Test hundred," he said. * PA Sport

New Zealand (overnight 276-6): Tim McIntosh b Aamer 0 Martin Guptill c Alam b Aamer 60 Daniel Flynn c K Akmal b Asif 8 Ross Taylor c Farhat b Ajmal 94 Peter Fulton b Asif 29 Grant Elliott c K Akmal b Asif 8 Brendon McCullum b Gul 78 Daniel Vettori c K Akmal b Gul 99 Shane Bond batting 8 Ian O'Brien batting 2 Extras: (lb14, w1, nb3) 18 TOTAL (8 wickets; 126 overs) 404 Fall of wickets: 1-0 (McIntosh), 2-27 (Flynn), 3-144 (Guptill), 4-192 (Taylor), 5-210 (Fulton), 6-211 (Elliott), 7-375 (McCullum), 8-402 (Vettori) Bowling: Mohammad Aamer 24-3-87-2, Mohammad Asif 31-5-98-3, Umar Gul 34-10-115-2 (3nb, 1w), Saeed Ajmal 3710-90-1.