Swing bowler Tim Southee snared his milestone 300th wicket as New Zealand sensed victory over Pakistan at stumps on day four of the first Test in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday.
New Zealand declared their second innings at 180/5 and Pakistan, set an unlikely target of 373, will go into the final day at 71/3. Azhar Ali will resume on 34 with Fawad Alam on 21.
The Black Caps need to sweep the two-Test series if they are to be in contention to make the World Test Championship final at Lords in June.
Although Pakistan are out of the running for the final they are keen to improve their world ranking of seven. But their cause was not helped when the wizardry of Southee and swing partner Trent Boult removed both openers for nought.
In New Zealand’s second innings, the Pakistan quicks struggled to get any assistance from the fourth-day wicket, but Southee and Boult immediately had the ball dancing to their tune.
Southee dismissed Haris Sohail to reach the milestone. He is only the third New Zealander, after Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori, to take 300 Test wickets.
Southee has 2/15, and Boult 1/24. Neil Wagner, who was thought to have broken one toe while batting on Sunday, but has now been diagnosed with a second broken toe, sent down six overs to have none for four.
New Zealand began their second innings at the start of the day with Tom Latham and Tom Blundell putting on 98 in the first session.