Skipper Kane Williamson and wicket keeper batsman BJ Watling slowly took New Zealand on their road to recovery with an unbeaten 73-run stand to go into tea with the score at 145-4.
The wicket seemed to have smoothed in the post-lunch session after Yasir Shah had set the cat among the pigeons with three quick wickets for just two runs. Williamson brought up his 50 and was the more aggressive of the duo as he finished on 71 off 155 balls, with Watling scoring just 14 off his 98 balls.
It was tough going for the host bowlers, who were forced to toil in Abu Dhabi with little to no assistance off the pitch barring the odd ball that misbehaved.
Both sides would be quietly satisfied with the score so far. Pakistan may be edging it slightly, especially with the prospect of another flurry of wickets that has been typical to this series so far, but New Zealand will be happy with their slow and steady recovery after going into lunch in trouble at 73-4.