Stumps, Day 3
That Pakistan’s run-rate of 2.34 was an improvement dictated the narrative on the third day until their late dash to avoid the follow-on, with Faheem Ashraf’s career-best 91 at the center of it, stole all the limelight in Mount Maunganui. Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 239 but the cat-and-mouse game to the follow-on score of 231, and how Ashraf delivered Pakistan past it with some help from four consecutive boundaries off Tim Southee, made for a thrilling watch. Join us back for more of this tomorrow.
Pakistan avoid follow on
Faheem Ashraf has played pretty well here, hitting an array of boundaries to ensure that Pakistan at least make it past the follow-on mark. His four consecutive boundaries against Tim Southee stood out. He is also batting on his highest Test score…
Rizwan’s run out sparks collapse
A sharp throw from Mitchell Santner from deep square leg sees the back of Rizwan and it could be the difference between pakistan following-on or not. We’ll see. Meanwhile, Boult has also sent back Yasir Shah, meaning Pakistan are in the danger of being bowled out today itself.
Fifty for Ashraf
His second in Tests and the duo also bring up the 100 run stand. Quite a good period of play this for Pakistan after a tumultuous morning that saw them five down for not much.
Lifeline for Rizwan
The Pakistan captain gets a repreive on 61. Southee drops a regulation outside edge in the slip off Boult, and the hope stays on for Pakistan. Still over 50 runs away from the follow-on mark.
Fifty for Rizwan
His first as the captain of Pakistan and his fourth overall. Been a brilliant innings this, upping the run-rate while steadying Pakistan after a hara-kiri of a start. He’s gotten some good company from Faheem Ashraf at the other end but a lot of work still needs to be done. The first objective is to save the follow-on…
The stop start continues
Only 13 balls after a delayed start to the final session and we are rushing back again. It’s been a frustrating second half weather wise. 40.5 overs left in the day!
Tea, Day 3
New Zealand continued with their immaculate lines and lengths on a difficult pitch for run-scoring, keeping Pakistan down to as low as 1.5 runs per over on the third day. Wickets wise, the rain-marred second session was a bit better for the visitors, when they only lost a wicket and added 41 runs across 20 overs.
Fawad Alam was the only batsman to be dismissed, edging a bouncer behind from Neil Wagner. That the pacer managed to take the field today after x-ray scans had returned an undisplaced-fracture in the fourth right toe was in itself commendable. Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf have added 32 runs off 47 balls since the wicket before a hailstorm brought on an early Tea.
Wicket: Alam is out
What fractured toe?! Wagner’s back and he picks the wicket of Fawad Alam. Short from round the wicket and he’s drawn another edge to the keeper. Pakistan six down…
Rizwan, Alam rebuild
The duo has batted 96 balls together but the run-rate is meandering along at 1.33. New Zealand have done well with their lines and lengths on a difficult pitch, and you just feel it’s a matter of time before another heap of wickets come for them; the pressure ion the batting side is going to tell.
Rain stops play
5.2 overs after Lunch and the rains have arrived. Looks like a short break. Pakistan can do with some more brainstorming in the dressing room.
Pakistan’s 65 for 5 is the second-lowest score after 50 overs of a Test innings since May 2001 (since when Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball data is complete). SA were 49-2 after 50 in a 4th-innings rearguard v India in Dec 2015. Over 2500 innings in the sample.
01:13 AM  Dec 12, 2020
Lunch, Day 3
After hitting the right notes for the better part of the first hour, the session went awry pretty quickly for Pakistan in Mount Maunganui. A total of four wickets fell on the third morning, with Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult and Tim Southee all chipping in to leave the visitors on the mat.
Wicket: Haris Sohail is out
Two wickets in the over for Tim Southee! Sohail flashes at this and ends up slicing it down gully’s throat. “The last recognized batsman is set to join Fawad Alam at the crease with the team trailing by nearly 400,” our bbb commentary reminds us.
Wicket: Azhar Ali is out
New Zealand review thinking Azhar Ali has nicked this, and he indeed has. Beautiful bowling from Tim Southee. Moves this one away in the channel and extracts out the edge.
First hour is done
14 overs, 13 runs and 2 wickets.Pakistan batted well for most of it but lost two quick wickets towards the end.
Wicket: Abbas is out
We have a wicket in consecutive overs before lunch. It’s also Ross Taylor’s 150 catch in Tests. Boult gets this to move outside off and nightwatchman Abbas obliges with a healthy nick that’s taken at first slip.
Wicket: Abid Ali is out
Jamieson unsettles him with a short ball and then bowls this full and quick one. Ali cannot keep this one out…
Update on Neil Wagner
Here’s an update on Neil Wagner who was hit on his toe yesterday.
“An X-ray has confirmed an undisplaced-fracture to Neil Wagner’s fourth right toe, but he has been cleared to play by a doctor – providing he can he can tolerate the pain. Wagner will need to warm-up fully this morning before a final call is mad,” a statement from NZC said.
And he’s indeed taken the field, so that’s good news for New Zealand!
Ahead of Day 3, @grantelliottnz got up close and personal with the Bay Oval deck to give his read #NZvPAK
09:54 PM  Dec 12, 2020
Hello and welcome to Day 3. It’s a day that has to be all about Pakistan’s batting if they are to have some sort of a say in the Test match. Abid Ali, who looked good last evening, is going to be a key player for the visitors while the hosts will want their three-pack card of Southee, Boult and Wagner fire.