21 Nov 2014

Honours even after 4 days in Dubai

12:57 pm on 21 November 2014

The New Zealand cricketers continue to press home efforts for a series-levelling win, but the honours are even after four days of the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai.

Ross Taylor hit a return-to-form half-century to help the Black Caps through to 167 for six in their second innings for an overall lead of 177.

Ross Taylor walks back to the pavilion after his unbeaten 77

Ross Taylor walks back to the pavilion after his unbeaten 77 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After starting the day on 281 for six, Sarfraz Ahmed hit a fighting hundred for Pakistan as the hosts ended their first innings on 393, just 10 runs behind.

Taylor is unbeaten on 77 as he helped his team recover from a shaky 79 for four.

Mark Craig (nought) was in Taylor's company as New Zealand will seek a series-levelling win in the three-Test series on an intriguing final day.

Pakistani spinners Zulfiqar Babar took three for 60 and Yasir Shah three for 65 had jolted New Zealand but Taylor stood firm.

Babar removed Brendon McCullum (45), Kane Williamson (11) and Jimmy Neesham (11) in another display of beguiling left-arm spin on a Dubai stadium pitch which is taking notable turn.

Yasir Shah dismissed Tom Latham (nine), Corey Anderson (nought) and BJ Watling (11).

Pakistan won the first Test by 248 runs in Abu Dhabi last week.

McCullum hit six fours in his 62-ball knock and when on 39 became New Zealand's second top Test run-scorer, overhauling Martin Crowe's 5,444 runs in 77 Tests.

Stephen Fleming is first with 7,172 runs in 111 Tests while McCullum now has 5,451 runs in 89 Tests.

Taylor added 46 with Jimmy Neesham (11) and hit Babar for a boundary to complete his 50 and then added 41 for the sixth with Watling.

The third and final Test begins in Sharjah on November 26th.

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