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Taylor rescues New Zealand after Sarfraz’s strokeful ton

Taylor rescues New Zealand after Sarfraz’s strokeful ton
Taylor was 77 not out for his 23rd fifty to help his team recover from a shaky 79-4 to close the fourth day on 167-6, having an overall lead of 177 with four wickets intact.

Mark Craig (nought) was in Taylor’s company as New Zealand will seek a series-levelling win in the three-Test series on an intriguing final day. Pakistan won the first Test by 248 runs in Abu Dhabi last week.

Sarfraz’s 112 led Pakistan’s fightback as they managed 393 in their first innings in reply to New Zealand’s 403, conceding a 10-run lead. Spinners Zulfiqar Babar (3/60) and Yasir Shah (3/65) had jolted New Zealand but Taylor stood firm. Babar removed Brendon McCullum (45), Kane Williamson (11) and Jimmy Neesham (11) in another display of beguiling left-arm spin on a Dubai stadium pitch which is taking notable turn. Yasir Shah dismissed Tom Latham (9), Corey Anderson (nought) and BJ Watling (11).

McCullum hit six fours in his 62-ball knock and when on 39 became New Zealand’s second top Test run-scorer, overhauling Martin Crowe’s 5,444 runs in 77 Tests. Stephen Fleming is first with 7,172 runs in 111 Tests while McCullum now has 5,451 runs in 89 Tests.

Pakistan owed their fightback to Sarfraz who hit a brilliant 112 for his third hundred, all scored this year. He was last man out in the second over after lunch from McCullum, hitting 16 fours in a 215-minute stay, his innings balancing the match after New Zealand looked set for a big lead.

BRIEFSCORES NZL 403 and 167/6 (Taylor 77*, Babar 3-60) lead Pak 393 (Sarfraz 112) by 177 runs.
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