A piece of Mitchell Santner magic put New Zealand back in control of the first test against Pakistan after a counterpunching partnership threatened to put draw firmly back on the table.
On a day of two halves, Pakistan wobbled badly at 80-6 but refused to topple, with stand-in skipper Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf combining for 107 spiky runs that threatened to wrest control away from the hosts.
Their collaboration only ended due to some ill-advised running and a spectacular intervention from New Zealand's spin-bowling allrounder.
When Faheem whipped a ball into the leg side, Rizwan turned for two. Santner charged off the midwicket fence, picked the ball up in one-hand and fired in side-arm, stone-skimming throw that hit direct with a diving Rizwan just short.
It was a welcome relief for his teammates as for the first time this summer, the four-pronged pace attack looked short of penetration and, perhaps, patience.
Trent Boult removed Yasir Shah shortly after, clean bowled for four, but Faheem carried on his cavalier way, at one point carving four fours in consecutive deliveries from Tim Southee, who was desperately seeking wickets 299 and 300 to add to his legacy.
Enforcing the follow-on was never a likely scenario on this wicket but Faheem rendered the decision moot when he flogged Neil Wagner through square leg to take Pakistan past 231.
Wagner got a measure of satisfaction by removing Shaheen Shah Afridi, caught in close by Tom Latham for six.
The remaining intrigue was to see if Faheem could score a maiden century but that hope, and the day, ended when Kyle Jamieson had him caught behind for 91, with the total 239, 192 runs behind.
It sets up an intriguing day four, when New Zealand must choose how aggressively, and potentially how long, to bat against a quality attack.
Pakistan started the day on 30-1 trying to haul down New Zealand's 431.
What they lacked in stroke play they made up for in fortitude, as all the top order, including nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas, dug in for a fight.
The problem was they kept losing wickets with enough regularity to keep New Zealand excited.
Jamieson got the ball rolling when he cracked opener Abid Ali on the thumb before cracking him on the off stump.
Abbas' 55-ball, five-run vigil ended when Boult found his edge, while Southee did the same to Pakistan's most accomplished batsman Azhar Ali for the same score. Umpire Chris Gaffaney was unmoved until third umpire Chris Brown moved him via DRS.
Haris Sohail somehow squirted an innocuous looking half-volley into Henry Nicholls hands at gully to take Southee to 298 test wickets.
It is one thing to lose wickets if you're scoring at a reasonable rate; it is another, entirely more problematic, thing to lose wickets when you are barely moving the scoreboard.
So in the 60th over Pakistan found themselves 80-6 without appearing to have batted recklessly. This was no West Indian-style capitulation but rather a gradual cutting off of the oxygen supply.
The fall of the sixth wicket, the crab-like Fawad Alam top-edging a hook off Neil Wagner to BJ Watling, brought Faheem to the crease and a sudden surge in scoring. With the second new ball looming and a rested Jamieson waiting, Faheem and Rizwan took the opportunity to loosen the shoulders.
They were just starting to hit their stride when a hailstorm, you read that right, chased the players from the field.
It was the start of an on-off period but the disruptions appeared to affect the bowlers more than the batsmen. The boundaries started to flow and the first signs of frustration began creeping in, with Jamieson throwing wildly and unnecessarily at the stumps after fielding off his own bowling.
The new ball was taken as soon as it was available but did not bring with it an immediate change in fortunes.
Rizwan offered a sharp chance to Southee at second slip but the ball was past him before he reacted.
Things were just starting to look a little desperate when Santner intervened.