An even battle It was an engrossing days play at Dunedin. Fortunes fluctuated pretty evenly throughout the day as New Zealand ended the day at 276-6. Dangerous Brendon McCullum is batting on 25 while skipper Daniel Vettori is on 40 not out as the pair added 65 invaluable runs for the seventh wicket. Kiwis looked in a spot of bother towards the end of play at 211-6, however, Vettori and McCullum resurrected the innings with the seventh wicket stand. It could have been different if Imran Farhat held the catch offered by Vettori on the first ball he played. Nonetheless it was an encouraging day for Pakistan with the bowlers bowling well overall. Mohammad Asif (3-76) along with Mohammad Aamer (2-62) were the two best bowler. Asif troubled everyone with his seam movement while Aamer hurried the batsmen with his fast and accurate short-pitched bowling. Umar Gul was a touch disappointing given the fact that it was seamer-friendly pitch and yet he bowled wayward. Pakistan had New Zealand in trouble in the first session at 27-2 but Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor steadily built a partnership. If the first session belonged to Pakistan the second was belonged to New Zealand as Taylor got into his groove completing sixth Test fifty while Guptill completed his maiden Test fifty. But once Guptill fell to Aamer, the middle order fell away. Taylor fell six short of a deserved hundred and fell to Saeed Ajmal who was preferred over Danish Kaneria. Mohammad Asif returned for an effective spell in the third session taking two quick wickets but McCullum and Vettori held their nerves. Two sessions went to Pakistan and now they should try and finish off the Kiwi innings early on the second morning. The second new ball is still relatively new and Pakistan should utilise it well. The pitch will test the Pakistan batsmen and they will have to apply themselves really well to succeed on day two. Asif shines on return Mohammad Asif was playing his first Test match since October 2007 but he was into the groove straightaway for Pakistan on the first day of the first Test against New Zealand at Dunedin. Mohammad Yousuf won the toss and elected to field first a decision which Asif along with Mohammad Aamer made look correct straightaway. Asif got into the act early as he removed Daniel Flynn for just eight making the ball come in as the batsman edged it and was caught behind leaving New Zealand reeling at 27-2. Throughout the day Asif bowled with stamina and intelligence seaming the ball in helpful conditions. Asif is renowned to do well in seaming conditions and he did just that at the picturesque University Oval at Dunedin on day one. It was his intelligent use of seam and swing which made him the most difficult bowler to handle for the Black Caps batsmen. Pakistan needed wickets in the third session of the day when New Zealand looked to be getting away with the days play and Asif returned well and dismissed Peter Fulton (29) and Grant Elliot (8) in quick succession as New Zealand were reduced to 211-6. Fulton was clean bowled Elliot was caught behind. Asif could have another wicket straightaway after Elliot but Imran Farhat dropped Daniel Vettori in the first slip. The lanky paceman ended the day with fine figures of 24-4-76-3 but could easily have had one or two more wickets had the fielders supported him and the edges didnt flew into the vacant areas. On day two Asifs spell will be crucial for Pakistan. They would be looking to wrap up Kiwi innings as soon as possible and Asifs role will be vital. He also has a good chance to complete a five wicket haul which will be a big moral booster for him after coming back from all the tough times he has had to endure.