Double century and a single wicket all the life in NZ test
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, March 18 (AFP) - Pakistan and New Zealand seemed destined to play out an excruciating draw in the second cricket Test as the portable pitch yet again proved a bowler's nightmare Sunday.
The fourth day's play, while remarkably tedious with only a single wicket to fall, was notable for Yousuf Youhana's 203, ended only by a fluky, but much needed caught and bowled from Mark Richardson, New Zealand's opening batsman.
Pakistan bowler Saqlain Mushtaq was moored at 98 not out and could, if Pakistan declare, miss the chance for his maiden Test century. As he stayed out at the wicket all day, and was particularly excruciating in getting the runs, it will be his own fault.
He got just four singles in the last hour on the flattest wicket he will ever face.
At stumps on the fourth day Pakistan were 561 for seven, 85 runs ahead of New Zealand's first innings 476.
The real villan in the day has been the lifeless portable wicket on Lancaster Park which has seldom challenged batsmen.
New Zealand's bowling attack, already depleted when Chris Drum was forced out hurt Saturday, looked weaker when Craig McMillan had problems through the day with his insulin levels.
Pakistan captain Moin Khan won fans by instructing umpires to waive the normal rules allowing McMillan to come and go as he needed to.
The lack of variety in the attack was exposed -- particularly when part-timer Richardson actually got the only wicket of the day.
With the fifth and final day Monday, and not even the second innings complete, a draw is looking the most likely outcome.
However New Zealand has managed to stage dreadful collapses in the past, and while they perhaps can see no prospect for a victory, Pakistan, with an early declaration could have a chance