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No Place To Hide For Vettori

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori

By Chris Barclay of NZPA

Wellington, Dec 4 NZPA - Usually the head coach would front to explain a test cricket team's inadequacies after witnessing a display like New Zealand's batting effort against Pakistan at the Basin Reserve today.

But with the role currently vacant, captain and selector Daniel Vettori had no option but to articulate all that went awry for New Zealand on the second afternoon of the second test.

New Zealand are in danger of surrendering their 1-0 series lead, the euphoria of last Saturday in Dunedin a fading memory after a second successive batting failure against a bowling attack lacking the menace of previous Pakistani sides.

Still, this edition have preyed on New Zealand's uncertainty since the hosts compiled 429 first-up last week at University Oval.

Since then they have tallied 153 and today's feeble 99, the first time since a dire 76 in Brisbane 2004 that a New Zealand test innings fell short of three figures.

Pakistan led by 229 runs at stumps, and resume tomorrow on 64 for two in their second innings.

Vettori was left to grasp Iain O'Brien's removal of Salman Butt and Imran Farhat before the close as proof positive his side would not surrender.

"The spell by Iain O'Brien shows there's still a lot of belief and fight and we'll have to come out tomorrow and bowl exceptionally well," he said.

"Whatever we need to chase, hopefully it's the best time to bat on the wicket."

The bowlers again find themselves under pressure to compensate for a batting effort that lasted just 36.5 overs.

"Obviously the batting display, to only put 100 runs on the board, is not where we want to be," Vettori said.

"It's a really tough day, particularly with how we played in Dunedin, to back it up with a performance like that is tough.

"Two innings ago we put a score of 400 up so we know this is not acceptable.

"We know we have to do a lot better than that. It's the whole 11, it's not just the top six (batsmen)," he said.

The team's batting frailties have left a four-pronged bowling attack -- with precious little time off the park -- to try and limit Pakistan tomorrow.

"It's tough work," Vettori said.

"There's some tired legs there but we need our bowlers to step up again. All four of us have a huge responsibility and we need to bowl like Iain did tonight to give ourselves a chance."

Meanwhile, Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Asif, who now has 12 wickets for the series at an average of 15.91, said plotting the New Zealand batsmen's downfall was relatively simple.

"The pitch didn't do a lot actually but if you bowl on the right area there is something happening," Asif said after taking four for 40.

"We just bowl in the corridor and the batsman will do something wrong."

He identified Ross Taylor's dismissal for 30 as they key, and from that point on there was no reason to get anxious.

"After that we're not going to panic," he said


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