Skip to main content

Pakistan fight back in Napier Test

Farhat powers a ball through the off side as he continues his fine form in the third Test.
Farhat powers a ball through the off side as he continues his fine form in the third Test.
  • Pakistan openers Imran Farhat and Salman Butt lead third Test fight back in Napier
  • They compile unbeaten 128 stand but Pakistan still trail by 120 runs overall
  • Daniel Vettori and Daryl Tuffey help New Zealand to first innings lead of 248 on third day
  • England's James Anderson set to be fit for first Test against South Africa

(CNN) -- Pakistan openers Imran Farhat and Salman Butt hauled their side back into the third and decisive Test against New Zealand at Napier with an unbeaten stand of 128 by the close of the third day.

New Zealand had opened up a first innings lead of 248 after captain Daniel Vettori's century and a Test-best 80 not out from Daryl Tuffey saw them to 471 despite Danish Kaneria's seven-wicket heroics.

But Farhat, who made an unbeaten century in Pakistan's first innings of 223, was 55 not out with Butt unbeaten on 66 as the tourists fought back in style.

It was some compensation for their disappointments earlier in the day as Vettori and Tuffey appeared to take the game away from them with a dogged stand.

Tuffey survived some early nerves and was dropped by Umar Gul, while Vettori hit Mohammad Asif to the boundary to bring up the 400 before surviving a strong lbw appeal.

But he fell to Umar Akmal's stunning catch off the same bowler for 134 in the following over.

Tim Southee went third ball before Tuffey brought up his maiden Test half-century and then hit Kaneria for a thumping six.

But Kaneria wrapped up the innings with the final two wickets of Iain O'Brien and Chris Martin to limit the damage.

Farhat and Butt then set about retrieving the deficit and battled to stumps largely untroubled to set up the prospect of an intriguing final two days with the series tied at 1-1.

In other cricket news, England are confident paceman James Anderson will be fit for their opening Test match against South Africa at Centurion on Wednesday.

Anderson has been struggling with a mystery knee injury but came through a warm-up match against a South African Invitational XI with no reaction.

Fellow seamer Ryan Sidebottom also proved his fitness after a side strain and took five wickets in the drawn match.