Taylor keeps Kiwis from crumbling in Dubai

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New Zealand held a lead of 177 runs at stumps on day four of the second Test in Dubai, after Pakistan reduced them to 167 for six before bad light stopped play.

Ross Taylor's unbeaten near-century held the innings together as the spinners struck in the evening, after Pakistan's tail had wagged earlier in the day to leave them just 10 runs in arrears.

The day began with Pakistan on 281 for six, still over 100 runs behind the 403 the Kiwis posted earlier in the game. Sarfraz Ahmed was on 28 at the start, and he was the key to the morning's proceedings.

Yasir Shah was out quickly, to Tim Southee, and the paceman also send Ehsan Adil packing cheaply, and it looked as though the Black Caps would head into their second dig with a hefty starting lead.

But it was not to be as Sarfraz advanced to yet another century in recent weeks, his average for 2014 nearing the 95 mark, and he thwarted all comers till after lunch. At the other end Rahat Ali made 16 runs off 49 balls over nearly two hours.

Sarfraz was eventually out in the afternoon for 112, becoming Brendon McCullum's first ever Test wicket. The joy was negated by the fact that they'd only managed to secure a 10-run lead-in.

The Kiwi innings did not go to plan as Tom Latham, so good in the first innings, was out for nine to Yasir. A review could not save him, and Kane Williamson was out soon afterwards, for 11.

While McCullum raced into the 40s, he was unable to stick it out and departed for 45 to Zulfiqur Babar, who took three wickets on the day. BJ Watling and Jimmy Neesham also made 11 before being dismissed.

So it was left to Taylor to steady the ship, and he advanced to a quick half century. He was on 77 when the umpires offered the light and he took it gratefully, taking Mark Craig back inside with him.