| GEO Sports|
| Kiwis pile 471 with 248-run lead in 1st innings vs Pakistan|
| Updated at: 0725 PST, Sunday, December 13, 2009|
NAPIER: Don't shake your head in disbelief when you look at the scorecard. Daryl Tuffey, who's previous highest was 35, almost got his maiden Test hundred as New Zealand gained complete control of the deciding Test in Napier.
It took a really special catch to dismiss Daniel Vettori and Tuffey was left stranded on 80 but by then they had pushed New Zealand far ahead in the contest. Danish Kaneria picked three wickets today to complete a seven-wicket haul but he couldn't prevent New Zealand from taking a daunting 248-run lead.
Tuffey's knock showed it was still a good batting pitch, it said much about Pakistan's listless bowling display this morning and also highlighted the mess they have dragged themselves in due to their poor first-innings batting effort. As you would expect on a third-day track like this, Danish Kaneria found some spin and completed his five-for but the morning belonged to Vettori and Tuffey.
Vettori cruised along, using his bottom-hand to flash length deliveries through covers and carve short-of-length deliveries through cover point, and continued, as ever, to improvise without much risk. Like he did so effectively last evening, Vettori teased Pakistan with his well-calculated shuffles.
At times, he moved towards off to flick to square-leg and some times, he would create more room for his cuts by arching back. Pakistan didn't have anyone with pace to hurry Vettori into making mistakes with such attempts and it took a stunning fielding effort to dismiss him. He drove one well to the left of short extra cover where Umar Akmal flung himself to hold on to very fine catch. Vettori was finally out but Tuffey prolonged Pakistan's agony with a fine knock.
Tuffey had a few problems against Kaneria - he was dropped, on 32, by Umar Gul at long-leg off an attempted sweep and survived couple of plausible appeals for lbw - but he looked really solid against the seamers. He handled the short ball without much problem and cut at every opportunity. He brought up the fifty of the partnership and his own half-century with cut shots, and dispatched Kaneria over long-on to add a six to his tally of hits to the fence.
The best shot, though, was a gorgeous on drive that perfectly bisected long-on and long-off. It was a flighted leg break around leg stump; Tuffey leaned forward, took his front leg out of the way and drove it through the line, past the startled bowler. It was a shot that a top-order batsman would have been proud to have pulled off and it not only reflected his confidence but also said much about Pakistan's state of mind.