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Rizwan, Faheem resist with valiant fifties but New Zealand pacers obtain massive lead
Day Three Report

Rizwan, Faheem resist with valiant fifties but New Zealand pacers obtain massive lead

New Zealand's relentless pace attack dominated day three of the first Test against Pakistan but their persistent efforts were stalled by a stellar century stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf.

On a day interrupted by frequent showers an uncharacteristic hail storm, the hosts seized the advantage in the first two sessions before Pakistan were bundled out for 239, having just averted the follow-on.

Pakistan skipper Rizwan and feisty all-rounder Faheem starred in a face-saving partnership for Pakistan as they put on 107 for the seventh wicket.

Rizwan's brilliant vigil eventually ended in an anticlimactic manner when he was run out for 71 while attempting a second run.

Despite the major setback, Faheem strode forward with confidence and launched a flurry of boundaries to smash his career-best score of 91.

Pakistan resumed the day at 30/1 with nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas and opener Abid Ali batting in the middle. The two were more focused on blocking deliveries as a slew of maiden overs were witnessed in the first hour of the morning session.

The pair added nine runs in over 12 overs before Kyle Jamieson prompted an ill-fated leave from Abid to rattle his stumps.

The breakthrough was crucial to New Zealand's prospects of gaining an upper hand early in the proceedings, especially given question marks over Neil Wagner's availability.

The left-arm deck-enforcer suffered a fractured toe while batting on Sunday was allowed by the medical panel to bowl only if he could "tolerate the pain".

Abid's wicket was followed by Trent Boult's dismissal of Abbas, who edged one to first slip after being pushed on the back foot by a couple of rapid short deliveries.

Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail also struggled for fluency during their partnership and contributed nine runs between them from 50 balls.

Both were shown the door by veteran paceman Tim Southee in a single over to further pile misery on the tourists. Azhar was caught by wicketkeeper BJ Watling and although the on-field umpire missed the nick, the not-out verdict was overturned on review.

Haris perished in a less complicated fashion when he played with an angled bat straight to Henry Nicholls at gully.

Contrary to initial fears, Wagner battled his foot injury to deliver a seven-over spell unperturbed and got the wicket of Fawad Alam via a sharp bouncer.

Fawad's exaggerated on-side stance did not prevent him from trying a hook off Wagner as the ball safely landed in the hands of Watling.

Jamieson had outstanding figures of two for nine off 17 overs at the tea break and he later got the prized scalp of Faheem to deny the all-rounder his maiden triple-figure score at the Test level.

New Zealand will begin day four as the firm favourites with 192 runs ahead of Pakistan.