Wellington, Jan (Agencies): Pakistan skipper Misbah ul-Haq and batsman Younis Khan guided Pakistan to 209-3 at lunch on the third day of the second Test as New Zealand`s hopes of leveling it`s two-match series.

The match was evenly poised when play resumed with Pakistan on 134-2 in reply to New Zealand`s first innings of 356.

Seamer Chris Martin removed the overnight batsman Azhar Ali for 67 in the fifth over of the day, but Younis was 39 not out with Misbah on at the break in partnership worth 65 runs.
 
Daniel Vettori dismissed opener Taufeeq Umar for 70 with the last ball of the second day, but New Zealand still needed quick wickets to have any chance of squaring the series after Pakistan`s 10-wicket win in the first Test.

Martin summoned extra pace on an increasingly placid wicket to have Azhar caught at first slip by Ross Taylor. The short-pitched ball took Azhar by surprise, he sparred at it looped it into the slip cordon where Taylor took an easy catch.

New Zealand needed to capitalize on the breakthrough to have any chance of winning a match in which it still needs 17 wickets with two days remaining. Only 13 wickets have fallen on the first three days.

The loss of Azhar brought together Younis and Misbah, the most experienced batting pair in the current Pakistan squad. They showed that experience in resisting the New Zealand attack until lunch as Vettori used his own spin and the pace of Martin, Tim Southee and Brent Arnel in the hope of making a further breakthrough.

Younis began his innings with the first ball of the day, after the fall of Pakistan`s wickets at stumps Sunday. He quickly found the pace of the wicket and settled into a routine of stout defense, leavened with five boundaries.

 Misbah batted for 102 minutes by lunch in a watchful innings that included just three fours.

New Zealand remains in dire need of wickets in the second session Monday to have any chance of saving the series. The best hope of taking those wicket may be Vettori, who began to find turn from the bowlers` footmarks.