Misbah And Shafiq Put Pakistan In Strong Position

Misbah And Shafiq Put Pakistan In Strong Position
Misbah And Shafiq Put Pakistan In Strong Position
©REUTERS/Nigel Marple (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

New Zealand 275 (Southee 56, McCullum 56) v
Pakistan 235-4 (Asad Shafiq 74no)
First Test, Hamilton, day two

An unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership of 128 between Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq put Pakistan into a strong position as they closed the second day of the first Test against New Zealand in Hamilton on 235 for four.

They had earlier made short work of New Zealand's lower order to dismiss the home side for 275 as Tanvir Ahmed returned four wickets.

Half-centuries from Taufeeq Umar, Shafiq and captain Misbah then put Pakistan into a position from which they will be expected to forge a first-innings lead when play resumes on the third day.

The day began with New Zealand on 260 for seven but they could add just 15 runs for three wickets, Pakistan's revival triggered when they removed Tim Southee (56) without adding to his overnight score when he was caught by Younus Khan off Umar Gul.

Kane Williamson reached 50 but failed to go any further before he was caught by wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal off Tanvir and the innings was ended when Brent Arnel was caught by Wahab Riaz off Tanvir, who finished with four for 63.

Pakistan then made a bad start as they lost opener Mohammad Hafeez, caught by Tim McIntosh off Chris Martin, without scoring and also lost Azhar Ali (24) and Younus Khan (23) cheaply.

However, Taufeeq's 54 in 105 balls steadied the innings with Misbah offering solid support in making 50 in 129 deliveries. After Taufeeq was caught by Williamson off Arnel, Misbah and Shafiq combined to take the score from a precarious 107 for four to 235 for four with Shafiq leading the way, unbeaten at stumps on 74 having faced 167 balls.

He is the only man in the game so far to pass a score of 56 - the same score that Brendon McCullum also managed on the opening day, in which Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first.

© Cricket World 2011