On day four of the first Test at Mount Maunganui on Tuesday, Swing King Tim Southee snared his landmark 300th wicket as New Zealand sensed victory over Pakistan at stumps.
At 180 for five, New Zealand declared their second innings and Pakistan, setting an ambitious target of 373, will head into the final day at 71 for three.
On 34, Azhar Ali resumes with Fawad Alam on 21.
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If they are to be in line to make the World Test Championship final at Lords in June, the Black Caps need to sweep the two-Test series.
They are keen to boost their world ranking of seven, even though Pakistan is out of the running for the final. When the wizardry of Southee and swing partner Trent Boult eliminated both openers for nothing, however, their cause was not supported.
Pakistan soon failed to get any help from the fourth-day wicket in New Zealand’s second innings, but Southee and Boult immediately had the ball dancing to their tune.
Abid Ali fended and was caught behind a rising Boult delivery, while Shan Masood was caught at first slip off Southee and after 14 deliveries, Pakistan was two down for no runs.
Until Southee was back in play, Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail offered some resistance for 15 overs and 37 runs.
With a full delivery to Sohail (9) that was chipped to Mitchell Santner at short cover, he broke the partnership, making Southee just the third New Zealander to take 300 Test wickets after Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori.
Southee has two for 15, and one for 24 for Boult. Neil Wagner, who was expected to have broken one toe on Sunday while bowling, but was now diagnosed with a second broken toe, sent six overs down to have none for four.
With Tom Latham and Tom Blundell putting on 98 in the first session, New Zealand started their second innings at the beginning of the day.
Latham, who sent three edges into the slips, was momentarily bothered by Mohammad Abbas, although a noisy lbw appeal against Blundell was turned down with the TV umpire unable to differentiate whether the ball struck the bat or pad first.
The batsmen were untroubled otherwise, with Yasir Shah having six overs but failing to create any turn of note.
The declaration was clearly approaching after lunch, as New Zealand lowered its risk-free strategy and wickets fell as the number rose.
When attempting to slog Abbas over midwicket, Blundell was bowled for 64 and New Zealand were 111 for 1.
Eleven overs later, when Pakistan bought wickets with a short-ball tactic, they were five for 170. With a textbook cover push to the border to hit his 20th half-century, Latham, who had feasted on ones and twos and ran on misfields to keep the scoreboard ticking over, opened up.
When he mistimed a pull shot and was trapped in the deep, he was dismissed shortly after for 53.
The attempted pull shot of Kane Williamson was top edged to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan and he was gone for 21, while Henry Nicholls went for 11 when Abbas trapped his pull shot at his fine leg. For Pakistan, with three for 55, Naseem Shah was the most efficient bowler.