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New Zealand v Pakistan 2nd Test: Honours Even on Day 1

New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson 5-69 today
New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson 5-69 today
©Reuters
 

Honours were even, at the close of play on day one, of the 2nd Test between New Zealand and Pakistan , at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch today.

 

Match Summary


New Zealand Still to bat

Pakistan 297

At the Close - Pakistan were 297 all out

Scorecard

 

 

Match Report – Salim Parvez

True grit by Pakistan in reaching 297

Put in to bat to face the music in tough batting conditions and having lost four wickets in the first session, Pakistan’s 297 all out is more than a creditable fightback, led by seasoned campaigner – Azhar Ali (93) and wicket-keeper-captain – Mohammad Rizwan (61), against New Zealand’s five-man all-seam attack.

Pakistan was once again forced to be without their captain Babar Azam, whose thumb injury has left him on the bench, throughout the tour of New Zealand. As a star batsman of the team, his presence would have made a huge difference. The tourists playing eleven included debutante, 25-year old slow left-armer Zafar Gohar, who after a solitary ODI appearance in 2015, followed by his missing a flight to UAE when almost certain to play in a Test against England, has not been considered until recently impressing the selectors, with good form. Ironically, Zafar was included today at the expense of experienced Yasir Shah, the very player he was to replace in the Test at Abu Dhabi, five years ago.

Kane Williamson, keen to extend New Zealand’s 16 undefeated run in Tests at home, chose to give his bowlers the first taste of the Hagley Oval Christchurch wicket. The ball swung from the word go and Shan Masood was trapped by a late swinging yorker by Tim Southee for a duck in the third over the innings. Left-handed Shan after three consecutive Test hundreds to his name, now has mere 33 runs from last 7 innings, including three ducks. A horrible run that is hurting Pakistan.

The two Alis – Abid and Azhar – had to encounter a difficult first hour on a greenish pitch and needed good fortune to take the drinks at 43-1 (14 overs). Matt Henry, replacing injured Neil Wagner, was playing in his home ground for he represents Canterbury in the domestic cricket. He came in to bowl the 15th over. As opposed to the 1st Test at Mount Maunganui, where the mind set was much too defensive, today the bad balls were taken advantage by Pakistan batsmen and the 50 runs came in the 17th over.

New Zealand through Kyle Jamieson hit back with two quick wickets of Abid Ali and Haris Sohail and surprise surprise, Fawad Alam walked into yet another crisis at 70-3 in the 22nd over. He too departed to a nasty delivery to the same bowler and Pakistan took the lunch at 88-4, with Azhar, the only one to stand out in difficult batting conditions, having brought up his fifty with his ninth boundary and unbeaten on 54.

In the post lunch session, the players were on and off, for a number of times as rain arrived at the ground. Pakistan captain, Rizwan, in no time had taken four fours in his unbeaten 21 off 14 balls when rain interrupted play for the second time with the score now standing at 113-4 in 29.2 overs. He continued with his proactive approach and hit 61 off 71 balls with 11 fours, to play a truly fighting innings in dire circumstances. His exit after having dominated the 88-run 5th wicket stand with Azhar, took considerable pressure off his team. This was his fifth consecutive fifty-plus score in Test matches.

At tea Pakistan were 213-5 and Azhar, seven short of a deserving hundred was out after the break, caught at first slip, having batted for 271 minutes, negotiated 172 balls and hit 12 fours. Easily one of his best knocks in the recent years, when his form has not been that great. Pakistan’s lower order continued the fight with their two bowling all-rounders – Faheem Ashraf (48) and Zafar (34) – both applying themself very well and collectively hit 14 fours, mostly orthodox and justifying their selection in Test cricket. Even No.11 Naseem Shah, hit three fours off Trent Boult in his brief innings last nine balls. Jamieson with 5-69 was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers whilst claiming five from the first seven wickets to fall today. He looked the most dangerous with extra bounce extracted, more so when the ball was still hard.

 


 

 

Playing XIs

 

New Zealand - Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(wk), Daryl Mitchell, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult

Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan(c)(wk), Faheem Ashraf, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah

 

Match Details

 

Start Time: 22:00

Toss: New Zealand won the toss and decided to field

Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Officials: Christopher Brown, Christopher Gaffaney, Wayne Knights, Shaun Haig, Jeffrey Crowe

 

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