On the first day of the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand at Hamilton, the hosts were all set to be bowled out for a paltry total, having slumping to 177/7. But then, resilient batting from middle-order batsman Kane Williamson, with an unbeatan 44, and tail-ender Tim Southee, not out on 56, revived the innings to allow their side to finish on 260/7 in 90 overs at stumps.
New Zealand opened its innings on a partly aggressive, partly shaky note. Brendon McCullum cover-dove Umar Gul for a four in the first over, while Tim McIntosh hit Tanvir Ahmed past mid-off for another boundary. But in the the same over, the batsman managed to edge a delivery straight to Younis Khan in the slips and New Zealand were 9/1. Then, one-down batsman Martin Guptill, helped McCullum steady the innings. They each took a four of Gul in the 5th over.
Then in the 17th over, McCullum slapped first-change bowler Wahab Riaz, for a boundary past extra cover to bring up his side's 50. Gul rejoined the attack in the 29th over, but McCullum greeted him with a huge six over long off. In Gul's following over, McCullum rerpeated the shot for another maximum, but in the very next ball, sliced a delivery straight into the palms of Azhar Ali at deep backward point. McCullum was out for 56 and New Zealand were 92/2 in 30.2 overs.
New batsman Ross Taylor, was suffering from a case of the jitters and was nearly run out in the 33rd over. He tried to calm his nerves by sweeping off-spinner Abdur Rehman to fine leg for four. But just three balls later, he was caught behind for 6 and New Zealand were in sometrouble at 99/3 in 37.5 overs. In the next over, Guptill ran a single off Gul to bring up New Zealand's 100.
Guptill and the next batsman Jesse Ryder, began rebuilding. With the score at 121/3, Ryder cut loose, lofting Rehman for a six over midwicket and then glancing him fine for four. But his fun came to an end when he was run out for 22 in the 51st over. New Zealand were in trouble at 135/4. But the batsmen were intent on counter-attacking, one four coming from Guptill and one from the new man at the crease Kane Williamson, in the next two overs.
But soon after reaching his 50, Guptill sent a full toss from Rehman straight into the hands of the fielder at cover. New Zeladn had slumped to 158/5. But even as the new man in the middle Ralph Young, spanked Tanvir Ahemd for two fours, the Pakistan onslaught continued. In the 64th over, Rehman trapped Young in front for 14 and the Kiwis had slipped to 176/6. In just the next over , Tanvir Ahmed dismissed the Kiwi captain Daniel Vettori, for a duck and the scoreboard read 177/7.
At that juncture, it looked like the end of the Kiwis' innings was close. But Younis Khan put down a catch from Williamson off Rehman, and the batsman began to capitalise on that reprieve. He had found a very able partner in tail-ender Tim Southee who hammered Gul for three consecutive fours in the 73rd over to take New Zealand past the 200-run mark.
Several overs later, Southee went after Tanvir Ahemed, striking him for two back-to-back fours, and in so doing, brought up the 50-run partnership. In the 87th over, Southee and Williamson took a four each off a tiring Gul. Those shots took New Zealand over 250. Then the batting duo quietly played out the remaining few overs to stumps, ending the day at 260/7 with their unbroken stand worth 83.