Pakistan 4-235, 40 behind NZ in first Test


Asad Shafiq and Misbah ul-Haq shared an unbroken partnership of 128 to lift Pakistan to a dominant 4-235 at stumps on the second day of the first Test – 40 runs behind New Zealand’s total.

Shafiq posted 74, the highest score of the match so far, and Misbah reached 50 as Pakistan ground towards a first innings lead on a day on which only seven wickets fell.

After resuming at 7-260 on Saturday, New Zealand lost their last three wickets for 15 runs in 7.5 overs.

Pakistan then slipped to 107-4 before Shafiq, on debut, and captain Misbah stuck together for more than three hours to put the visitors on top.

Misbah arrived at the crease first but followed Shafiq to his half century and was the seventh batsman in the match to pass 50.

None has yet gone on to make a century and the outcome of the match may turn on their ability to do so, because the next man in is wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, marking the start of a long tail.

New Zealand varied attack and used six bowlers, including part-timers Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill, on an increasingly docile pitch.

The home side had completed 80 overs by stumps and will be able to take the new ball, with a refreshed bowling attack, first thing Sunday.

Chris Martin, who took 2-67 Saturday and will take the new ball on the third day, saw a chance to recover.

“Conditions are a lot like where we’ve just come from (a Test and one-day series in India),” Martin said.

“We haven’t quite bowled well as a unit here as we did over there. Some guys have bowled okay but there have been a few too many four balls which let them off.

“We’re mindful that these are their last two recognised batsmen, and then it’s the keeper and the bowlers. If we can get these two quickly tomorrow, then hopefully we can get parity or within 30 or 40 runs.”

Pakistan’s innings started poorly when opener Mohammad Hafeez fell fourth ball but Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali led a recovery, putting on 72 for the second wicket. Left-hander Taufeeq hit 11 fours in his half century but was unable to go on and was out for 56.

Pakistan lost Taufeeq at 103 and Younis Khan (23) and 107 to briefly hand New Zealand the advantage before Misbah and Shafiq consolidated.