1st Test New Zealand v Pakistan Day 3: Rizwan & Ashraf keep Pakistan in the game
Stubborn resistance from Pakistan’s captain Mohammad Rizwan (71) and Faheem Ashraf (91) kept the tourists in the 1st Test - Pakistan trailed New Zealand by 192 runs, at the close of play on day three of the 1st Test, at the Bay Oval, Tauranga today.
New Zealand 431 all out
At the Close - Pakistan trail New Zealand by 192 runs
Match Report - Salim Parvez
Pakistan remain on the back foot
A four-man New Zealand pace attack, combining fire and discipline, skittled out Pakistan for 239, just before stumps on the third day. As the tourists managed to save the follow-on, the first of the two-Test mini series at Mount Maunganui, is set to go into the final day. With the uncertainty of the top order exposed by the Kiwis, Pakistan team management will be hoping for miracles to save the game and be advised not to turn to social media for any comfort.
Pakistan resumed their first innings with Abid Ali and night watchman, Mohammad Abbas, at the crease. The runs were hard to come by and Abbas, not for the first time in his career, showed determination in simply hanging around. He didn’t mind one bit when his first run came off the 37th ball he faced as only 9 runs were scored in the first 9 overs. Before the first hour, Abid, a touch late on a delivery from Kyle Jamieson, departed with 25 to his name. His dismissal was soon followed by that of Abbas and not too long afterwards, Tim Southee, send back Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail in the same over.
Lunch was taken at 63-5 with some variable bounce having creeped in but the demons were in the heads of Pakistan batsmen, who simply could not cope with the bounce and robot-like accuracy of the opposition bowlers, which with two left-armers makes it an ideal quartet. Fawad Alam did his best to survive and after scratching around for 9 runs in 80 minutes, he too was back in the hut, leaving his side in deeper water: 80-6 in 59.1 overs.
Now Pakistan’s only hope rested on their wicket-keeper captain, Mohammad Rizwan and he showed he has the batting skills for deep crisis that he was facing. In all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, he found a partner he was looking for as the pair added 107 for the seventh wicket and in doing so refused to be blown away completely by the Kiwis. With less lateral movement on offer now, the crowd was treated with a fighting batting display by the lower order. In doing so the partnership could have had more impact on the result of this match, had Rizwan on 71 (142balls, 8 fours) not been found short of his crease by a direct throw from deep fine-leg, going for a second run.
After a below-par stint with the ball in New Zealand’ first innings total of 431, all-rounder Faheem Ashraf rose to the challenge and played outstandingly for his 91 – the highest of his two Test fifties now. He took four consecutive fours off Southee whilst adding 39 runs for the 9th wicket with Shaheen Afridi that took his side past the dreaded follow-on mark. He was the last man out, having faced 134 balls and hit 15 fours and a six, before edging behind Jamieson, to give the bowler figures of 3-35 off 23.2 overs. With a first innings lead of 192, Kane Williamson will be aiming to set a 400+ fourth innings target for Pakistan.
New Zealand - Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(wk), Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult
Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan(c)(wk), Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah
Start Time: 22:00
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and decided to field
Venue: Bay Oval, Tauranga
Officials: Christopher Gaffaney, Wayne Knights, Christopher Brown, Shaun Haig, Jeffrey Crowe
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