Pak in control on Day 2 Vs NZ

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Published: Saturday, January 8, 2011, 12:58 [IST]
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Pak in control on Day 2 Vs NZ

Pakistan wrested back control of the first Test against New Zealand, at Hamilton by first bowling out the hosts for 275 and then giving their own first innings some impetus and substance to recover from 104/4 to 235/4.

Tim Southee, who was resuming batting on 56 and Kane Williamson, who was unbeaten on 44 after putting on such a good show and reviving the Kiwi innings on Day 1 to 260/7, couldn't keep the momentum going. In the very first over of the day, Gul dismissed Southee with a bouncer, forcing him to glove the delivery to slip. Southee was on his way for his overnight score and the hosts were 260/8.

New batsman Brett Arnel tried to counter-attack by smacking Tanvir Ahemed for a four, but the bowler returned in his following over to have Williamson, who had just notched up 50, caught behind. New Zealand were reduced to 274/9. Gul was unlucky not to get Arnel out when Younis spiled his second catch in the slips. But Ahmed ensured that was not a costly error when he had the same batsman caught at mid-on off a top edge. New Zealand wre all out for 275.

Pakistan's innings got off to a poor start as in just the fourth ball, Kiwi paceman Chris Martin had Mohammad Hafeez caught brilliantly by Tim McIntosh at second slip, sending the batsman back for a duck. One-down batsman Azhar Ali settled in with a on-driven four off Tim Southee and in the next over Taufeeq Umar got on top of Martin, smashing him for three boundaries - one to midwicket, one to square leg and the third, past mnid on.

But Taufeeq was not done with Martin. In the 5th over, he struck him for two more fours - one, past mid off and one, through the covers. Then in the 11th over, Azhar Ali brought up Pakistan's fifty with a four off Brett Arnel. The two were making hey while the sun shone, but it turned dark again when Martin did Azhar Ali in with a short-of-a-length bouncer which the batsman edged through to the keeper. Azhar was gone for 24 and Pakistan were in some trouble at 72/2 in 22.2 overs.

Later in the over, Younis Khan got off the mark with a boundary off Martin. Yet again Martin came in for some tap, when in the 29th over, Younis smnacked him for three consecutive fours. That flurry of boundaries took Pakistan to over 100. But in just the next over, Arnel succeeded in pegging back the visitors when he had Taufeeq out caught by Williamson at midwicket for 54. Pakistan were 104/3 when captain Misbah-ul-Haq came to the crease.

Almost immediately, Younis exited when Arnel caught and bowled him for 23 as Pakistan slumped to 107/4. It looked like the tourists were in the middle of another of their infamous collapses. But Asad Shafiq asnd Misbah stemmed the rot and stood their ground admirably. The two played in a cautious manner but lept at the opportunity to hit the occasional four, taking their side to over 150 in the 54th over.

In the 63rd over, Shafiq took a single off Arnel to notch up his fifty and then pressed on with Misbah. Five overs later, Shafiq heaved Guptill over mid on for a four to take Pakistan past 200. Kiwi captain Daniel Vettori was trying various bowling options, but to no avail. He brought on off-spinner Williamson to bowl, but Misbah lofted him for a six in the 76th over.

Having long since placed Pakistan on the road to recovery, Shafiq and Misbah played out the last few overs of the day to take their side to 235/4 at stumps. At the end of Day 2, Pakistan had staved off threats of a collapse and were trailing New Zealand by just 40 runs with 6 wickets in hand, with Shafiq not out on 74 and Misbah, on 50.


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