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.
Taylor put his run of modest scores in the recent West Indies series behind him, posting his 34th half century to be not out for 66. Williamson needs just one further run for his 33rd half century.
New Zealand skittled out West Indies on day four for 247 after they followed on after being dismissed for a paltry 138 in their first innings in reply to a mammoth 519 for seven of the opponents.
South Africa were in trouble at 106-4 after the second day's play on a tricky Rawalpindi stadium pitch, trailing Pakistan's first innings total of 272 by 166 runs. Earlier, Nortje grabbed his third five-wicket haul with 5-56 to restrict Pakistan's total.
"We have been playing T20Is since October and now have a pretty settled and balanced side, so we have decided to rest Imad, Sarfaraz and Malik," Wasim said in a Pakistan Cricket Board release.
In a watershed moment in the history of the UAE cricket, the Lancer Capital, Manchester United owners, have acquired a franchise in the upcoming UAE T20 League, it was announced by the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) in a statement on Wednesday.
Celebrating the UAE’s golden jubilee, Emirati motocross champion and Red Bull athlete Mohammed Al Balooshi toured all seven emirates in honour of the UAE’s 50th anniversary.