TAYLOR HELPS SET PAKISTAN BIG TARGET
ROSS TAYLOR shrugged off his eye problems to score a superb unbeaten century as New Zealand set Pakistan a formidable 369-run target to win the second Test yesterday. Taylor finished 102 not out despite only being cleared to play two days before the Test after scarring on his left eye threatened his vision. He was due to have surgery tomorrow. New Zealand declared late on the fourth day in Hamilton at 313 for 5 and Pakistan were one without loss after facing three overs before stumps. Both sides vowed there would be no holding back on the final day with Pakistan needing to win to keep their world number two ranking and New Zealand looking to improve on seventh place. “All going well that last session could be really entertaining,” said Taylor, who was pleased he made the decision to play. “There were definitely thoughts going through my mind not to play so it was nice to draw on a bit of experience – I’ve been in that situation before – and put the team in a good place. Probably for the past year, for the first five to 10 balls of the innings I haven’t picked up the balls as I would have liked.” Pakistan quick Mohammad Amir dismissed talk of playing for a draw. “We like to be among the top teams in the world and we will try our best to retain that,” he said. “We will definitely try to go for the target. The first session will be very important.” The tourists will have to better the record fourth-innings succesful run chase at Seddon Park of 212 for 4 by Australia in 2000 to win today’s final day and save the two-Test series. The highest fourth-innings total on the ground is 344 for 6 by Sri Lanka in a drawn Test nearly 26 years ago.