Skipper Rizwan and Ashraf help Pakistan avoid follow-on in first Test against New Zealand
28 Dec 2020
Trent Boult (L) and Kane Williamson (R) celebrate the run out of Mohammad Rizwan on day three of the first Test match at the Bay Oval on Monday. AFP
Gulf Today Report
New Zealand’s bowlers took a couple of rain and hail shower delays in their stride and slowly broke down Pakistan’s stubborn resistance to help the hosts take control of the first Test on Monday.
Rearguard innings from skipper Mohammad Rizwan (71) and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf (91) helped Pakistan avoid follow-on and embarrassment after the two shared a 107-run partnership for the seventh wicket on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand.
Faheem Ashraf (C) looks to avoid the throw from Kyle Jamieson (R) on day three of the first Test match. AFP
Faheem Ashraf was dismissed for 91, his highest Test score, just before the close of the third day’s play at Bay Oval as Pakistan were bowled out for 239, still 192 runs behind New Zealand’s 431.
Pakistan were struggling at 80 for six at one point in time and looked set to follow on before Rizwan and Ashraf counter-attacked to stitch the crucial partnership.
Rizwan, the wicketkeeper-batsman, hit eight fours in his 71-run 142-ball innings while Ashraf made 91 off 134 balls with 15 fours and a six.
The duo batted aggressively going after the New Zealand pace attack after the nervous and edgy top-order couldn't find ways to score.
Pakistan were so slow that they got to 50 in the 41st over for the loss of three wickets.
Mitchell Santner signs autographs for fans. AFP
They lost overnight opener Abid Ali and nightwatchman Mohammed Abbas in the space of two overs after the two had seen off the first 12 overs of the morning.
Pakistan's most experienced batsman Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail fell in the 43rd over bowled by Tim Southee.
Left-handed batsman Fawad Alam fell as the sixth wicket with the score on 80 in the 60th over. For New Zealand, Kyle Jamieson took three for 35 while Southee and Trent Boult took two wickets each.