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NZ happy on Hamilton green top

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/11/2016

They may have lost the toss and been sent in on a Hamilton green top, but New Zealand are pretty happy with the state of play in the second Test against Pakistan.

New Zealand are starting out their second innings 55 runs ahead of the tourists after dismissing them for 216 on a rain-interrupted third day at Seddon Park.

The Black Caps scored 271 in their first innings, thanks to some lower order flailing and had Pakistan 76-5 at the start of play.

Just 38.1 overs were possible with most of the afternoon session rained off but the Kiwis were able to grab the remaining Pakistan wickets between the showers.

When going out to bat in their second innings just one ball was possible before rain finished the day off for good.

"Taking a 50-odd run lead into the second innings after losing the toss on that wicket I think we were pretty happy with the situation," said Tim Southee, who took six wickets for 80 runs.

Seddon Park is his home ground for Northern Districts and while three other bowlers had to do a bit of work into the northwesterly wind, he had the luxury of bowling his 21 overs exclusively from the northern end.

He admitted it was one of the few grounds where the main wind assisted a right-arm outswing bowler.

Southee also admitted he hadn't bowled well in the first 20 minutes and Pakistan showed that runs could be scored - which would give his batsmen heart.

"With them having a positive mindset they put the bad balls away and got off to a good start."

There would be some assistance with the new ball but that would disappear as it got older.

Meanwhile, Babar Azam, who top scored for Pakistan with 81 not out, was disappointed he couldn't reach his maiden Test century.

However, he was thankful to the lower order batsmen offered resistance that got them over 200.

They had started the day planning to be positive and grab any scoring opportunities, however the weather had helped the bowlers.

New Zealand lead the two-match series 1-0 after victory in Christchurch and a win or a draw would mean their first Test series victory over Pakistan since 1985.

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