With his 4-wicket haul, Rahat Ali led the Pakistani fightback    Getty Images
With his 4-wicket haul, Rahat Ali led the Pakistani fightback Getty Images

Pakistan s pace trio of Mohammad Aamer, Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan exploited the conditions conducive for seam and swing to the fullest and in the process, scripted a fightback as New Zealand were bundled out for 200 in the first session on Day Three of the first Test at Christchurch. Rahat took 4 wickets, while Aamer and Sohail shared 3 wickets each to break the back of Kiwi batting. New Zealand added 96 runs to their overnight total of 104 for 3 and lost 7 wickets in the session. They took a vital lead of 67 runs. At lunch, Pakistan were 6 without loss in their second innings. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st Test at Christchurch.

New Zealand resumed Day Three from their last evening s score of 104, with opener Jeet Raval batting on 55 and Henry Nicholls giving him company on 29. The two had added 64 runs for the fourth wicket and the Kiwi hopes of getting a big lead were pinned on them. Raval had looked extremely solid and composed yesterday, showing complete command on his game. Nicholls too put up a decent show. However, if Day Two belonged to the hosts, the honours of the first session of Day Three went to the visitors, who did extremely well to pull things back; thanks to their pacers.

The carnage started with Nicholls falling for 30; adding just a single run to his individual and team’s total. He was caught plumb in front of the wickets by Sohail. Raval also fell shortly, without adding any run to his overnight score. He was dismissed by Aamer, who got him caught at the first slip. Within first 10 minutes of the day s play, New Zealand had thrown away the advantage they had.

Debutant Colin de Grandhomme, who had a great outing with the ball, played a sparkling brief innings of 29 which had six boundaries before Sohail got him with a well directed bouncer. Rahat got Todd Astle without scoring in the next over to leave New Zealand reeling at 146 for 7. BJ Watling, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner played handy cameos towards the end to get the team to the 200-run mark. Wagner added 23 runs for the last wicket with Trent Boult, before falling to Rahat immediately after hitting a six. The hosts thus folded up for 200, taking a lead of 67 runs, which is extremely crucial in the context of the game.

In reply, Pakistan have made a steady start to their second innings. Their openers Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali played six overs from Southee and Boult to take their team safely to 6 without loss. Pakistan still trail by 61 runs and the post-lunch session will be extremely critical. If they can get through it without losing wickets, they have a chance here. However, the pitch is still doing things and with a good pace attack, New Zealand can be dangerous too.

Brief Scores: Pakistan 133 (Misbah-ul-Haq 31; Colin de Grandhomme 6 for 41, Tim Southee 2 for 30, Trent Boult 2 for 39) and 6 without loss vs New Zealand 200 (Jeet Raval 55, Henry Nicholls 30, Colin de Grandhomme 29; Rahat Ali 4 for 62, Mohammad Aamer 3 for 43, Sohail Khan 3 for 78) at lunch on Day 3.