Taking the first Test: Pakistan make it 1-0, Misbah makes it 15

Published: November 9, 2014
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Misbah’s most successful time as captain was under the coaching of Mohsin Khan, as he won six out 15 Tests during Mohsin’s time at the helm. PHOTO: AFP

Misbah’s most successful time as captain was under the coaching of Mohsin Khan, as he won six out 15 Tests during Mohsin’s time at the helm. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Pakistan won the first Test of their three-match series against New Zealand by 248 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium yesterday as Misbahul Haq became Pakistan’s most successful captain with his 15th win.

The hosts were on top right from the start and after claiming a 304-run first-innings lead and declared for 175-2 in their second to post the Kiwis a target of 480. However, the visitors were 174-8 at the end of day four to make the proceedings on the final day nothing but a mere formality.

Yasir Shah removed the defiant Mark Craig early on but the final pair also frustrated Pakistan, adding 54 as number 10 Ish Sodhi top-scored with 63 before being caught in front of the stumps by an Imran Khan delivery that moved inwards to seal the win.

After the match, Misbah said he is proud to become Pakistan’s most successful captain, four years after he was handed the job in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal that left Pakistan cricket in tatters.

Misbah bettered his illustrious countrymen Imran Khan, who had 14 wins in 48 Tests, and Javed Miandad, who had 14 wins in 35 Tests, and has done so in only 32 matches. However, Misbah has claimed he cannot be mentioned in the same breath as the duo. “I think they were better than me and will always be so.”

But the middle-order batsman did add that the achievement is all the more satisfying after all that Pakistan have gone through under his captaincy and the challenges they faced when he started. “When I look back, I feel a lot of joy because of how tough it was when I started this journey,” said Misbah. “I was made captain during uncertain times; I was not even a regular member of the team. The way the team responded is incredible. Everyone gave their best, youngsters and seniors alike, and that’s why we deserved the results and all the players deserve the credit for this.”

The win against New Zealand is Pakistan’s third in a row after last week’s 2-0 white-wash of Australia and the batting continued to break records in the same manner.

Misbah also had words of gratitude for the management. “Credit also goes to the Pakistan Cricket Board, who despite so many changes in their setup kept faith in me,” said Misbah. “I hope there is consistency in terms of captain even when I am gone as it leads to better results.”

 

Mohsin Khan praises Misbah

Misbah’s most successful time as captain was under the coaching of Mohsin Khan, as he won six out 15 Tests during Mohsin’s time at the helm; a 3-0 whitewash of then number one Test side England, a 2-0 whitewash of Bangladesh and a 1-0 win over Sri Lanka the highlights.

Mohsin said that Misbah has done a commendable job despite facing fierce criticism during his captaincy, while also crediting senior batsman Younus Khan for playing an important role. “It’s a great achievement for Misbah, the way he has led Pakistan over the years under so much pressure, and I’m really happy for him,” he said.

 

 

Final result: Pakistan beat New Zealand by 248 runs to win the first Test match and lead the series 1-0

MC Cullum: Many youngsters performed well. Tom Latham played exceptionally well in the first innings. Congrats to Misbah and his team for winning. Not only the spinners but the Pakistani seamers were very good too. We will make sure to keep moving forward and learn to play spin and reverse swing and hopefully win the toss in the next match. We take a lot of learning from this match. We were the second best side in this Test. These conditions can be difficult. We need to make partnerships and I think the late partnerships have given us optimism. Hats off to Pakistan they have played an all round perfect Test.

Man-of-the-match Rahat Ali: Waqar Younus is helping me a lot. He made a plan to bowl more dot balls and it worked. I am happy with my performance and want to work harder for more success.

Misbahul Haq: Everyone supported me in bad times. Everyone around me. Cricket board and everyone lend their support. You never lose and that is key for me. If one works hard results come and you have to be patient for that. I really worked hard in the 3 months we were not playing cricket. We have taken a lot of confidence from the victory against Australia. We need to be focused and we need to do things that are right.

1210: NZ 231 all out, lose by 248 runs

Ish Sodhi got forward a little bit to cut the reverse swing and Imran Khan catches him LBW on 63. Misbahul Haq becomes the most successful captain for Pakistan with the 15th Test victory.

1150: NZ 226-9, need 254 runs to win

Ish Sodhi (58) was dropped by Sarfraz Ahmed as Younus Khan and Sodhi were both going for it. Both of them left it for each other.

1108: NZ 177-9, need 303 runs to win

Mark Craig is bowled by Yasir Shah on 28. He comes round the wicket and darts one in, Craig leans forward to block and misses the delivery which spins in to dislodge his bails.

Play starts on day five

1100: NZ 174-8, need 306 runs to win

Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig are willing to save NZ from a Test loss but Pakistan have surely won this one. Two wickets to go and Pakistan will bag a third consecutive Test victory.

Pakistan en route to sure-shot victory

Pakistan’s fortunes continue to rise as the hosts are just two wickets away from victory against New Zealand going into the fifth day’s play at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Captain Misbahul Haq is also just two wickets away from becoming Pakistan’s most successful captain as it will be his 15th win, taking him ahead of cricketing greats Imran Khan and Javed Miandad.

The Black Caps ended day four on 174-8 in 54 overs, trailing by 306 runs. Tail-enders Mark Craig and Ish Sodhi were both unbeaten on 27 as the trio of Rahat Ali, Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah claimed two wickets each while Imran Khan and Muhammad Hafeez dismissed a batsman each.

Asked to chase down a mammoth target of 480 in a little over four sessions, New Zealand got off to a promising start with first innings centurion Tom Lathan and Brendon McCullum scoring without any serious problems.

However, their resistance was broken by Babar as Latham was dismissed after scoring just 20 runs, caught by Yasir.

Yasir then removed a determined McCullum, who hit seven boundaries in his 49-ball 39, trapping him right in front of the wickets.

In came Ross Taylor, but he too was dismissed leg-before-wicket for eight runs off Yasir 11 balls later, as the Kiwis were reduced to 69-3.

Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson tried to consolidate the faltering innings, but failed in doing so for a longer stretch of time. Williamson, who scored 23 off 45 with three boundaries, came down the wickets against Hafeez expecting the ball to turn, but instead it straightened and wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed was provided with the easiest of stumpings.

Jimmy Neesham did not trouble the bowlers, edging the ball to Sarfaraz off Rahat three balls later for nought, and then BJ Watling was bowled on the next ball by Rahat.

New Zealand had lost three wickets on one run and were now 112 for six. Soon it became 121 for seven as Anderson was removed by pacer Imran after scoring 23.

Tim Southee was next to get out with pressure mounting as his defence was breached by Babar as he disturbed the timber on five. Pakistan tried to wrap up the match but were unable to snare the remaining two wickets.

Earlier in the day, Hafeez slammed his career’s sixth Test ton, propelling Pakistan to 175-2 and prompting Misbahul Haq to declare the innings.

Hafeez remained unbeaten on 101 which came off just 130 balls laced with two sixes and 12 strikes to the fence while Sarfaraz was undefeated on 12.

“It’s always great feeling to score a century in Test format and it was much needed because I was struggling for runs coming into this match,” said Hafeez.

“During the start of this match I was very low, but all my teammates really pushed me and wanted me to score runs while the team management also kept motivating me.

“We were little bit under pressure the way New Zealand started the innings, but our bowlers brought us back and now we’re on the brink of a victory.”

Both wickets – Azhar Ali (23) and Younus Khan (28) – were picked up leggie Sodhi, who was impressed by the home sides’ performance.

“Pakistan have done really well to not give away their wickets to fast bowlers who are world class seam bowlers in this match and they did really well to get through those stages,” said Sodhi.

“In batting, we didn’t apply ourselves, so that is something for us to learn going into the next matches.”

 

Stumps on day four

1830: NZ 174-8, need 306 runs to win

NZ have somehow dragged the match into day five. Ish Sodhi (27) and Mark Craig (27) can take the credit for this delay while Pakistan camp will be relaxed as they have 90 overs to account for just two batsmen who are tail-enders. It seems like a repetition now to say that ‘Pakistan have yet again dominated another day’ against NZ. Muhammad Hafeez with his outstanding century and Pakistani bowlers with their magic on dead wickets have done the job. A short day of Test cricket awaits on day five of the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand. Farewell!

1800: NZ 145-8, need 335 runs to win

Pakistan need two more wickets to record their third consecutive win in Tests with only nine overs remaining in the day. They will not be happy going into the fifth day just to account for two batsmen. NZ, meanwhile, are looking up to Mark Craig and Ish Sodhi to pull off a miracle.

PHOTO: AFP

1740: NZ 138-8, need 342 runs to win

Tim Southee is bowled by Zulfiqar Babar on five. He completely missed the ball as it spun towards off and removed his bails. That is the second wicket for Zulfi. Ish Sodhi walks in for NZ. Only Trent Boult left after this.

1730: NZ 131-7, need 349 runs to win

Tim Southee (5) and Mark Craig (11) are batting for NZ and it is just a matter of time that Pakistan will bag another win in the same fashion as they did against Australia in the previous series.

1715: NZ 121-7, need 359 runs to win

Corey Anderson (23) leaves an in-swinging delivery and is caught LBW off Imran Khan. He also opens his account with a wicket in this innings.

PHOTO: AFP

1700: NZ 112-5, need 368 runs to win

Kane Williamson (23) walks down the pitch and misses Muhammad Hafeez’s flighted delivery for an easy stumping by Sarfraz Ahmed. Rahat Ali accounts for James Neesham on naught caught behind and on the very next balls he dislodges BJ Watlings bails for another duck. He moves to a hat-trick but missed it as Mark Craig blocks his delivery. Pakistan can end this today. Four more batsman to go. Corey Anderson and Mark Craig are batting for NZ.

1645: NZ 107-3, need 373 runs to win

Anderson moves to 15 while Williamson is batting on 23 for NZ. Pakistan are applying all their bowling options to find another wicket at the moment. Rahat Ali and Muhammad Hafeez are bowling at the moment to find a wicket.

PHOTO: AFP

1620: NZ 80-3, need 400 runs to win

Anderson (3) and Williamson (8) have taken the reins of NZ batting in their hands and they have a long way to go. Pakistan are on attack mode with their prime spinners and sooner or later NZ will fall. But if they can survive and play the rest of the match for a draw, it will be one its kind heroic from the Black Caps.

Play resumes after tea on day four

1600: NZ 69-3, need 411 runs to win

Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson on the crease now for NZ and Pakistan are going to on an all-out attack on the Kiwis. Yasir to continue and bowl his remaining two deliveries of the over.

– Here is an interesting Op-Ed piece on the history of cricket in Pakistan published in The Express Tribune today.

Tea on day four

1545: NZ 69-3, need 411 runs to win

Yasir Shah is on a roll in this innings. He accounts for Ross Taylor on eight runs. He is caught LBW and does not review the decision. Two for Yasir and one for Zulfiqar Babar. Pakistan back in the match strong as ever.

PHOTO: AFP

1535: NZ 61-2, need 419 runs to win

Brendon McCullum looked perplexed against Yasir Shah in the 15th over. Eventually, he was caught LBW on 39. Pakistan have done what they always do good. Take wickets regularly and not allow any batsman to settle.

1525: NZ 57-1, need 423 runs to win

Tom Latham leans forward to sweep but the ball was pitched way shorter then he expected. The balls takes a heavy edge and Yasir Shah runs in from deep backward square leg to catch it diving forward. Pakistan strike their first blow but there is no stopping Brendon McCullum (35) at the moment. He is still scoring runs freely at will.

1510: NZ 47-0, need 433 runs to win

Brendon McCullum (27) and Tom Latham (18) are not playing slowly here. They have hit eight boundaries (five by McCullum, three by Latham). The plan is made obvious by their aggressive play. They will try to chase this target if possible and that might be the right thing to do on a flat pitch. Pakistan need to unsettle this pair because if they settle they will go on to form a big partnership.

PHOTO: AFP

1440: NZ 22-0, need 458 runs to win

Brendon McCullum is showing aggression against Pakistani pacers Rahat Ali and Imran Khan. He has hit three boundaries in the first four overs and moved onto 17 while Tom Latham bats on five. Pakistan will be bringing in their spinners soon to apply pressure.

NZ start their second innings

1420: NZ 0-0, need 480 runs to win

Brendon McCullum and Tom Latham are on the crease. This a confusing time for the Kiwis. They will be thinking of chasing this target but on the other hand they might lose wickets if they offer shots. Being an aggressive batsman, McCullum must have decided to not sit quietly and just bat through the five sessions and instead score as much as they can while they can. Pakistan need 10 wickets for yet another victory. Who is going to raise his hand this time?

Pakistan declare their fifth consecutive innings 

1410: Pak 175-2 declare, lead by 479 runs

Muhammad Hafeez completes his sixth Test century off 130 deliveries and Misbah signals him to come back. Pakistan declare with a 479-run lead.

PHOTO: AFP

1350: Pak 139-2, lead 443 runs

Younus Khan is caught LBW by Ish Sodhi on 28. He reviews the decision and is plum. Third umpire says its OUT. Sarfraz Ahmed comes on instead of Misbahul Haq. This seems to be a selfless act by Misbah or is this the sign that Pakistan are going to score quickly now? Lets see! Meanwhile, Muhammad Hafeez is batting on 86*.

Play resumes after lunch

1340: Pak 127-1, lead by 431 runs

Pakistan will be batting in this session to add 100 more runs to their lead and then possibly declare. Muhammad Hafeez is nearing a century and Younus is also on the crease. When is the declaration going to come? Hafeez faces Mark Craig in the first over after lunch.

Lunch on day four

1300: Pak 127-1, lead by 431 runs

Muhammad Hafeez (72) has gained a lot of confidence from his last innings’ 96 and is playing his strokes freely at will while Younus Khan (26) is as always calm as a cucumber on the crease. Pakistan will be declaring as soon as they cross the 500-run mark and if Younus gets a quick fifty they might again wait for his century before they declare. For the time being, a 40-min lunch break is on.

1245: Pak 99-1, lead 403 runs

Pakistan will have to score fast if they want to reach near 500 before tea on day four. Lunch is just 15 minutes away and they have pushed their lead past the 400-run mark. Younus Khan is batting on 15 while Muhammad Hafeez is batting on 55.

1230: Pak 90-1, lead by 394 runs

Muhammad Hafeez brings up his 11th Test half-century off 89 balls with a boundary off Ish Sodhi. Will he go on to complete his ton in this innings?

PHOTO: AFP

1200: Pak 69-1, lead by 373 runs

Azhar Ali is again accounted by Ish Sodhi in the second innings on 23. This time he is caught LBW. Seems like we have found Azhar Ali’s weakness against leg spin. But Pakistan are still on course to set a mammoth target for NZ to chase in the second innings. Younus Khan has walked in for Pakistan to bat.

PHOTO: AFP

Play starts on day four

1100: Pak 15-0, lead by 319 runs

Pakistan’s plans are very clear bat an hour after lunch and expand the lead to 500. NZ will be looking for wickets and will try to dry out runs. Who is going to succeed? Game on!

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan making an Australia out of New Zealand 

It was yet another day of chastening for New Zealand as hosts Pakistan ended up with a 319-run overall lead in their second innings on day three of the first Test being played at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

At the close of play, Pakistan were 15-0 after six overs into their second innings as skipper Misbahul Haq decided against enforcing the follow-on. Make-shift opener Azhar Ali, who replaced injured Ahmed Shehzad’s, was unbeaten on nine while Muhammad Hafeez was batting on five.

For the second game running, Misbah decided against enforcing the follow-on, just as he did against Australia in the second Test. The decision taken in the previous match proved fruitful as Pakistan soared to their biggest ever win by 356 runs.

Misbah decided to deploy the spinners from the start and the move paid off as left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar dismissed Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum (18) in the 17th over, 10th of the day.

Seven balls later, Kane Williamson, on three, chopped on to trying to dig out a yorker from Rahat Ali.

New Zealand were 38-2 and it soon became 47-3, when Ross Taylor was caught by Asad Shafiq off Babar, on nought.

Corey Anderson came in and the all-rounder and Tom Latham embarked on a rebuilding process with an 83-run stand as they sought to improve the fortunes of the Kiwis.

However, Anderson’s luck ran out in front of Rahat, who yet again got a wicket off an inside-edge and the batsman was back in the pavilion after a 70-ball 48, hitting eight boundaries.

Jimmy Neesham then had to pay for his adventurous approach as he was stumped by Sarfaraz Ahmed, trying to take on Muhammad Hafeez by dancing down the wicket on 11.

Latham kept one end intact as New Zealand recovered from a precarious 47-3 to 215-5 after Babar and Rahat had jolted them in the morning session.

The 22-year-old hit 13 boundaries during his patient 222-ball knock of 103, but fell prey to an in-swinger from Rahat and even a review, against the leg-before-wicket, could not save him.

Latham followed his father, Rod, to hit a Test hundred. They became the third New Zealand pair of father-and-son, and the 11th overall, to score Test centuries.

“It was a little bit of a relief as in West Indies I had three half-centuries in a row,” said Latham.

“It was a little bit disappointing not to kick on. But it was nice to score a ton in the first innings and in the first Test. To have achieved that milestone, certainly, I’m very proud.”

Seven balls later, Mark Craig panicked under pressure and got run-out on one, while Tim Southee followed him in the next over, on nought, edging an out-swinger from Rahat.

New Zealand were suddenly 219 for eight from being 215 for five.

Tail-ender Ish Sodhi added 25 late on with Watling also making 42, New Zealand were bundled out for 262 in 87.3 overs, trailing by 304 runs. Rahat starred with four wickets while Babar claimed three scalps.

Stumps on day three

1830: Pak 15-0, lead by 319 runs

Azhar Ali and Muhammad Hafeez go into day four with a comprehensive lead on Pakistan’s back. Rahat Ali was the main man for Pakistan with four wickets on day three. Zulfiqar Babar provided complete support to the pacer with his three wickets while Yasir Shah and Muhammad Hafeez chipped in with one wicket each. New Zealand are facing the same conditions as Australia. They have to bat well in their second innings when Pakistan invite them to bat. Another good day of Test cricket ends. Farewell!

1820: Pak 8-0, lead by 312 runs

Umpires have changed the ball and Tim Southee will have the first over with it. Azhar Ali is facing him and immediately Southee gets some swing.

Pakistan start their second innings

1800: Pak 0-0, lead by 304 runs

Muhammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali have come out to bat for Pakistan. Ahmed Shehzad must be missing the time opening for Pakistan. Trent Boult starts the bowling for NZ. Will he able to put the new ball to some use?

Pakistan have decided to bat again and not enforce follow-on.

PHOTO: AFP

1750: NZ 262-9, trail by 304 runs

Ish Sodhi is cleaned up Yasir Shah on 25. BJ Watling (42) and Trent Boult are on the pitch now with 10 overs left in the day. And Zulfiqar Babar catches BJ Watling LBW on the second ball of the next over. It is all over for NZ. What will Pakistan do now? Enforce a follow-on or bat the last 7 overs of the day?

1730: NZ 246-8, trail by 320 runs

BJ Watling and Ish Sodhi have managed to stop Pakistan from capitalising after they bagged three quick wickets. Meanwhile, Pakistan are already planning their next step after bowling NZ out. Skipper Misbahul Haq and head coach Waqar Younis were seen having a serious conversation during the last drinks break. Will they make NZ follow-on or will Misbah and his men bat a little?

1655: NZ 219-8, trail by 347 runs

Tim Southee was living dangerously against Rahat Ali. He was dropped by Sarfraz and on the very next ball he edges again and this time Sarfraz was able to bag the catch easily. NZ 147 more to avoid follow-on. Ish Sodhi has joined BJ Watling on the pitch now.

PHOTO: AFP

1650: NZ 219-7, trail by 347 runs

Tom Latham is caught LBW by Rahat Ali on 103 and after a short while Mark Craig is run out well short of his crease. NZ are in trouble now with 23 overs left in the day. BJ Watling (26) is joined by Tim Southee on the pitch.

1625: NZ 204-5, trail by 362 runs

Tom Latham scores his maiden century off 212 balls.

Play resumes after tea on day three

1600: NZ 186-5, trail by 380 runs

Imran Khan will be bowling the first over after tea to Tom Latham who is batting on 87.

PHOTO: AFP

Tea on day three

1540: NZ 186-5, trail by 380 runs

Both NZ batmen are looking strong on the pitch against Pakistani bowlers. Yasir Shah has not been able to impress today. He will be looking to attack more in the next session for Pakistan.

1530: NZ 171-5, trail by 395 runs

Tom Latham (73) is holding the reins of NZ at the moment while BJ Watling 12 is supporting him quite well. Pakistan are rotating between Muhammad Hafeez and Zulfiqar Babar trying to find another breakthrough.

1500: NZ 150-5, trail by 416 runs

James Neesham dances down the pitch to play Muhammad Hafeez. He misses the ball and it was an easy stumping for Sarfraz Ahmed. He departs for 11 and BJ Watling walks in to replace him.

1445: NZ 141-4, trail by 425 runs

Tom Latham survives to score 61 while James Neesham has been steady as a rock till now with five off 19 balls. Meanwhile, Pakistan are trying to make another breakthrough with Yasir, Zulfiqar and Rahat.

PHOTO: AFP

1418: NZ 131-4, trail by 435 runs

Rahat Ali strikes. Corey Anderson (48) pulls one back onto his stumps. James Neesham is in to replace Anderson.

1405: NZ 113-3 (41 overs)

NZ are scoring a boundary an over off Pakistani spinners since they have come back from lunch. The plan will be to attack and not be dogged by Pakistan, meanwhile, not losing any wickets. Tom Latham (52) complete his half-century with a boundary off Muhammad Hafeez while Corey Anderson is batting on 39.

PHOTO: AFP

Play resumes after lunch on day three

1340: NZ 81-3, trail by 485 runs

Pakistan are in a very strong position as play starts after lunch. NZ need to take a stand on the wicket now.

Lunch on day three

1300: NZ 81-3, trail by 485 runs

That was an entertaining two hours of Test cricket. New Zealand lost three wickets and scored 66 runs. Pakistan are in a strong position now and their plan is very clear, to bowl NZ out today. Meanwhile, NZ have to survive against the attacking spin bowling from Pakistan. It is lunch time in Abu Dhabi. Match resumes after a 40-min break.

PHOTO: AFP

1250: NZ 70-3, trail 496 runs

Tom Latham (34) seems to be the only batsman but who has survived well against Pakistan but he was also dropped twice on five and 32. Corey Anderson is also doing his bit and has scored 10 runs. Muhammad Hafeez and Zulfiqar Babar are bowling nicely but where is Yasir Shah? Pakistan are firing with only one gun at the moment, or they might be saving Yasir for the after-lunch session.

1235: NZ 60-3, trail by 506 runs

Tom Latham (31) and Corey Anderson (3) will be looking to build a partnership and not give away any wickets to Pakistan. Muhammad Hafeez is introduced into the attack and he gets hit for a boundary.

1215: NZ 50-3, trail by 516 runs

Ross Taylor (0) is the next man to go. Zulfiqar Babar bowls from wide of the crease, Taylor plays it with hard hands and it spins and goes for a catch for Asad Shafiq who dives to his left at gully. Corey Anderson is in to support Tom Latham. Two left-handers to deal with for Pakistan.

PHOTO: AFP

1155: NZ 38-2, trail by 528 runs

Kane Williamson defends a yorker off Rahat Ali but the ball somehow spills through and dislodges the bails. Williamson, the best player of spin for NZ, departs on 3. Pakistan now have the momentum with Ross Taylor now on the pitch. He will join Tom Latham (25).

1145: NZ 38-1, trail by 528 runs

Brendon McCullum (18) edges one to the slips where Younus Khan is clinical as usual. The on-field umpires refer the decision to the third umpire who says it gone. Kane Williamson arrives on the pitch.

PHOTO: AFP

Play starts on day three

1100: NZ 15-0, trail by 551 runs

New Zealand will be looking to survive the day against Pakistani spinners who are well adapted to the pitches here.

Rewriting history: Several records [and one skull] broken on day two

Day two continued much like the first one as Pakistan amassed 566 runs for the loss of just three wickets in their first innings against a hapless New Zealand bowling attack before declaring at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Three out of Pakistan’s top five batsmen scored centuries, with the other two also making scores in excess of 80; the first time in Test history that all top-five batsmen made scores of 80 or more.

Pakistan resumed the day on 268-1 with Ahmed Shehzad on 126 and Azhar Ali on 46. Shehzad soon reached his 150 to become the country’s youngest Test opener to make 150. However, he was hit-wicket off a Corey Anderson bouncer that hit him on the helmet, with his bat slipping onto the stumps. Scans later revealed that the opener, whose 176 was a career best, had suffered a minor fracture to his cheekbone.

In came Younus Khan and started off from where he had left off against Australia, playing fluently all around the wicket. However, Azhar could not stay with him for long and was bowled by leg-spinner Ish Sodhi on 87; the lowest score by any Pakistani batsman and the only partnership less than 150.

Pakistan were 373-3 when skipper Misbahul Haq joined Younus and the two senior batsmen heaped further misery on the Kiwis to make their record 12th ever 100-run partnership.

Younus played aggressively but Misbah later picked up the pace as both completed their centuries before Pakistan’s declaration.

Younus was unbeaten on 100 as he scored his fourth century in five Test innings and the 28th of his career.

“We’ve got a good chance with quality spinners and 500-plus score on the board to win this game,” said Younus. “But tomorrow’s first session will be crucial for us.”

Younus further added that it was hard for Misbah to play with the crowd chanting his name after having made the joint fastest Test century in the last Test.

“It was hard for Misbah as crowds were shouting for boundaries and sixes because suddenly he has become a ‘doom doom’,” joked Younus. “I talked to him and asked him to go for singles and wait for the bad balls. In the end, he ended up scoring a good century.”

Misbah, who remained unbeaten on 102, became the fifth Pakistani to score three consecutive centuries. He is Pakistan’s oldest Test centurion and only the second ever player to score three hundreds after the age of 40.

In reply, New Zealand survived the remaining seven overs and finished 15-0, still trailing by 551.

Stumps on day two

1805: NZ 15-0, trail by 551 runs

NZ did well to not lose any wicket before stumps on day two. Pakistan have broken and made many records today as well and they are having a jam when it comes to their Test form. An interesting third day of the first Test awaits us. Till tomorrow, eat, pray and love.

1755: NZ 8-0, trail by 588 runs

Brendon McCullum and Tom Latham are not going to be easy prey for Pakistan? They are being tested by Pakistan in the fourth over of the match as Zulfiqar Babar bowls it. With three overs left in the day, will Pakistan be able to survive it?

New Zealand start their first innings

1735: NZ 0-0, trail by 566 runs

Skipper Brendon McCullum and Tom Latham are in to open batting for their team. Rahat Ali will be hitting the deck for Pakistan with his left-arm pacers.

End of first Pakistan innings

1720: Pak 566-3 declare (170.5 overs)

Younus Khan and Misbahul haq both complete their centuries and Pakistan declare their innings with seven overs left in the day.

1700: Pak 542-3 (164 overs)

Misbahul Haq is on 90 while Younus Khan is batting on 88. Both players seem to be playing rather selfishly for their centuries but who knows their contributions might prove fruitful for Pakistan in the longer run of this Test match.

1640: Pak 508-3 (159 overs)

Misbah is batting on 67 while Younus is batting on 77. Meanwhile, our injured hit wicket batsman Ahmad Shehzad is back from the hospital and seems to be fine.

1615: Pak 482-3 (153 overs)

Misbahul Haq completes his half-century off 92 deliveries while Younus Khan bats on 69. Pakistan’s plan are clear they are going to score past 550 and then invite NZ in to bat for a few overs today. But one never knows, Pakistan might have something else on their minds right now. Who is up for centuries for Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq.

Play resumes after tea on day two

1640: Pak 471-3 (149 overs)

Younus Khan faces Corey Anderson as Misbahul Haq gets ready on the other end.

Tea on day two

1540: Pak 471-3 (149 overs)

Younus Khan has scored past his fifty while Misbahul Haq is nearing the half-ton mark. What total do Pakistan have in their mind? We will know that after tea in the final session of the day.

PHOTO: AFP

1525: Pak 449-3 (144 overs)

Pakistan have nearly reached the 450-run mark and they are dominating the Kiwis without any problems. Younus Khan has brought up his half-ton within a session of play and he will be vying to convert this into another century. Meanwhile, Misbahul Haq is batting on 36.

1515: Pak 436-3 (140 overs)

Misbahul Haq takes complete advantage of the drop catch by Mark Craig. He moves onto 29 while Younus Khan is batting on 45.

1500: Pak 416-3 (136 overs)

Younus Khan (42) completes 1000 Test runs in 2014 (previously in 2006). He matches Inzamamul Haq’s (2000 and 2005) record of achieving the feat twice. Meanwhile, Misbahul Haq moves on from his four runs to 13 with a huge six off Ish Sodhi on the fifth ball of the 136th over.

PHOTO: FILE/AFP

1445: Pak 404-3 (133 overs)

Younus Khan (39) scores two boundaries with two leg glances in the 133rd over off Trent Boult. He takes Pakistan past 400. Misbahul Haq is still on 4 from 24 balls. Drinks taken.

1430: Pak 393-3 (130 overs)

Misbahul Haq (4 off 22 balls) is not thinking of a whirlwind innings today while Younus Khan (28 off 42 balls) is actively scoring runs. Pakistan are nearing the 400-run mark and they will be planning to cross 450 before tea.

1410: Pak 373-3 (124.4 overs)

Azhar Ali is bowled by Ish Sodhi on 87. First wicket for a NZ spinner. Skipper Misbahul Haq is on the pitch now.

Play resumes after lunch on day two

1340: Pak 347-2 (116 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad was taken to the hospital for precautionary scans after he took a blow to his head. Meanwhile, Younus Khan and Azhar Ali will start the proceedings of the second session on day two.

Lunch on day two

1300: Pak 347-2 (116 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad hit wicket! I guess that’s the only way left to dismiss Pakistani batsmen. Corey Anderson’s bouncers jumps into Shehzad’s helmet and he is flat on the ground while his bat bat breaks the stumps. Physio was called and he left the pitch holding his jaw and to a standing ovation from the dressing room. Younus Khan comes into block two deliveries and that is lunch on day two. Pakistan had shown intent to score fast just before lunch and it will be interesting to see how they go about that plan after lunch.

PHOTO: AFP

1245: Pak 338-1 (113 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad has moved 169 and Azhar Ali is batting on 71. Will Azhar be able to score his third consecutive century in three innings and will Shehzad be able to score his first double ton? All the questions will be answered after lunch which is approaching fast on day two.

1230: Pak 321-1 (109 overs)

NZ have been unsuccessful in breaking Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad. Trent Boult and Tim Southee have bowled two overs each after drinks break but Pakistan batsmen seem to have no weak spot. Shehzad is still batting on 157 while Azhar Ali has moved on to 66.

PHOTO: AFP

1200: Pak 314-1 (105 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad has played his way to 157 and become the youngest Pakistan opening Test batsman to score past 150. Meanwhile, Azhar Ali has completed fifty and is playing on 61 off 157 balls.

Play starts on day two

1100: Pak 268-1 (90 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali will be planning to take Pakistan past 400-run mark on day two and then invite the Kiwis to bat. Kiwis will be on damage control mode today as they have still nine wickets to take which is not going to be easy on this pitch, tailored for batting.

NZ bowler’s struggle: Pakistan on top as batting continues to shine

Pakistan’s recent batting form continued on day one of the first Test against New Zealand as a patient 126 not-out from Ahmed Shehzad guided the hosts to 269-1 at stumps.

Pakistan had made a record 863 runs in their last Test at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and they continued in the same vein as Muhammad Hafeez was the only man to be dismissed on the day when he was caught and bowled by Corey Anderson agonisingly close to his century on 96.

There was some swing on offer early on for Tim Southee and Trent Boult, especially into the right-handers but Hafeez and Shehzad were able to see out the early movement by playing with a straight face and a soft hand and leaving the balls outside off.

The spinners were then introduced early by Brendon McCullum, and off-spinner Mark Craig and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi were bowling in tandem as early as the 10th over. The spinners continued with the good work of the pacers and also stifled the batsmen with some tight bowling.

The good work almost paid off when in the 19th over Shehzad, playing on 16, came down the track against Craig but missed the line of the ball to present Bradley-John Watling with a simple stumping chance. However, the 29-year-old failed to gather and Shehzad was able to get back.

The hosts upped the ante after the chance and made 41 in the 11 overs before lunch, having made just 44 in the first 20. It was more of the same after the break as Hafeez in particular looked positive.

However, having made 65 in the last 10 overs, Pakistan were pegged back when Hafeez got a leading edge off a slower one from Anderson to make it 178-1 but not before the pair recorded the highest opening partnership for Pakistan against New Zealand, which had previously stood at 172.

The partnership was also Pakistan’s first hundred-run opening stand in the first innings for 32 matches.

After Hafeez’s dismissal, the scoring lulled again, and Shehzad and Ali added just 91 runs off the final 37 overs of the day to finish at a run-rate of just under three.

Shehzad reached his third Test hundred off 221 balls in the 68th over but survived a close call against Sodhi in the nineties when an inside edge somehow missed his off stump and went for four.

“I have worked hard on my batting,” said Shehzad after the match, who also scored a century in the first innings of the last match to make it two in two. “I love to prove myself in Test cricket which is the real test of a player’s skill and I am happy to have done that.”

Having looked largely untroubled by a disciplined but ordinary Kiwi bowling attack, the Pakistani batsmen will be hoping to pile on the runs tomorrow and improve their scoring rate in the process and New Zealand’s Ross Taylor expects another tough day. “We toiled hard but Hafeez and Shehzad batted patiently and comfortably and it’s going to be another tough day for us tomorrow but we will try to get wickets,” he said.

As things stand, on a pitch that is already starting to offer some uneven bounce as few deliveries remained low, it is advantage Pakistan.

Stumps on day one

1805: Pak 268-1 (90 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad ends the day on 126* while Azhar Ali was on 46* at the end of play on day one. Only one wicket for New Zealand as Muhammad Hafeez was denied a century. Pakistan will come prepared on day two for an onslaught and NZ will be thinking of bagging as many wickets as possible tomorrow. What will happen? We will have to wait till tomorrow.

1727: Pak 241-1 (82 overs)

Pakistan have lost their hunger for runs in the last session of day one and are playing very slowly on pitch that has nothing much to offer for the bowlers. Ahmed Shehzad (113) and Azhar Ali (37) are not taking on any bowler. Brendon McCullum who bowled for the second time in his entire career was hit for five runs in his four overs. Pakistan have scored only 13 runs in the last 10 over.

PHOTO: AFP

1700: Pak 235-1 (75 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad (109) and Azhar Ali (29) are carrying Pakistan forward quite comprehensively towards stumps on day one. Pakistan will be looking to score 100 more runs to start day two with a strong hold against NZ.

1634: Pak 217-1 (67.1 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad brings up his third Test century off 221 balls. A great knock from a young batsman.

1620: Pak 200-1 (64 overs)

Pakistan score 200 in the 64th over. Ahmed Shehzad has moved onto 93 while Azhar Ali is playing on 10. Will Shehzad be able to score a ton?

PHOTO: AFP

Play resumes after tea on day one

1605: Pak 194-1 (60 overs)

Ish Sodhi bowls to Ahmed Shehzad to start the final session of the day.

Tea on day one

1545: Pak 194-1 (60 overs)

Pakistan have reduced their pace of scoring runs after Hafeez’s departure. Shehzad has just scored one run after that. Azhar has added three runs to his tally and moved on to 8 off 28 balls.

1533: Pak 189-1 (57 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad is supposed to be our first century man for this series as he is batting on 88. Azhar Ali, meanwhile, is playing his usual role scoring five runs off 17 balls.

PHOTO: AFP

1515: Pak 178-1 (53 overs)

It felt like a perfect day for Muhammad Hafeez to score a ton when he got out caught and bowled by Corey Anderson on 96 off 137 deliveries. NZ have the breakthrough now, what will they do with it? Azhar Ali is in to replace Hafeez.

1500: Pak 158-0 (50 overs)

Muhammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad are on identical scores i.e. 79*. Both vying for tons at the moment.

PHOTO: AFP

1440: Pak 135 (45 overs)

Muhammad Hafeez (74) and Ahmed Shehzad (61) have picked up pace and are hitting boundaries boosting Pakistan’s first innings score.

1422: Pak 107-0 (40 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad races to 49 with a boundary off Ish Sodhi in the 39th over. Muhammad Hafeez is batting on 58.

1405: Pak 96-0 (36 overs)

Muhammad Hafeez (52) has completed his fifty while Ahmed Shehzad is on 44. NZ are searching for wickets here while openers have given a consolidated start to Pakistan’s first innings.

Play resumes after lunch on day one

1340: Pak 77-0 (31 overs)

Trent Boult bowls to Muhammad Hafeez to start the proceedings

Lunch on day one

1300: Pak 77-0 (31 overs)

Muhammad Hafeez (45) and Ahmed Shehzad (40) are batting well against NZ bowlers. One session down and both the batsmen have been given one life-line each. The match resumes after a 40-minutes lunch break.

PHOTO: AFP

1245: Pak 75-0 (28 overs)

Pakistani openers have batted well countering the seam bowling from Southee and Boult and then facing spinner Craig and Sodhi. The first session of day one has not been happening except for a Hafeez catch which fell just short of the slip and Shehzad’s missed stumping by NZ keeper BJ Watling.

1230: Pak 60-0 (24 overs)

New Zealand have been unable to find a wicket while Pakistani openers completed their 50-run opening stand. Muhammad Hafeez (34) is moving towards his half-century while Ahmed Shehzad (26) is complementing his partner with singles and doubles.

1215: Pak 44-0 (20 overs)

Ahmed Shehzad receives a life line against Mark Craig in the 20th over. He dances out of the crease and misses the ball while the keeper is not able to gather it as well. Shehzad survives while Pakistan near the 50-run mark.

1200: Pak 34-0 (16 overs)

The spinners are going through their overs quite quickly with five overs bowled in just 15 minutes. Pakistan openers, Ahmed Shehzad (12) and Muhammad Hafeez (24) are scoring at a snail’s pace at the moment adding only 11 runs in the last five overs.

1145: Pak 23-0 (11 overs)

Mark Craig and Ish Sodhi have been brought on by the NZ skipper and they have done a good job with the ball. An off-break and a leg break bowler, Craig and Sodhi can cause trouble for the openers.

1135: Pak 22-0 (8 overs)

Tim Southee and Trent Boult have swung the new ball beautifully in the first eight overs. Ahmed Shehzad and Muhammad Hafeez have shown a lot of respect against certain deliveries. Both bowlers are bowling good areas around off-stump trying to find an edge but Pakistan openers seem to know what to play and which ball to leave.

1118: Pak 16-0 (4 overs)

Muhammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad have given a good start to Pakistan against the seaming ball. Trent Boult and Tim Southee are holding bowling beautifully with the new ball.

Pakistan start first innings

1100: Pak 0-0

Muhammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad will open the batting for Pakistan while Trent Boult and Tim Southee’s pair will be bowling with the new ball.

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan bat first against NZ

Pakistan bat in first New Zealand TestPakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq won the toss and decided to bat in the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Pakistan kept the same side which beat Australia by 356 runs in the second Test here for their 2-0 series win last week.

New Zealand entered the Test with two seamers, two spinners and as many allrounders.

The remaining Tests will be played in Dubai (November 17-21) and Sharjah (November 26-30)

After the Tests, the two teams also play two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day internationals.

Teams:

Pakistan: Misbah-ul Haq (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Zulfiqar Babar, Yasir Shah.

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (capt), Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Jimmy Neesham, Mark Craig, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi.

Umpires: Rodney Tucker (AUS) and Ranmore Martinesz (SRI)

TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Trigby
    Nov 9, 2014 - 6:05PM

    So he has “converted” this one.

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  • salman
    Nov 11, 2014 - 2:20AM

    Great time for Pakistani batters to back into an astronomical form when WC is just around the corner.

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  • RHS
    Nov 11, 2014 - 4:35AM

    Is this the same Pakistani team in which the batting order usually collapses like a house of cards? If it is then what has changed all of a sudden? Keep it up guys. There is little other good news from the home country…

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Nov 11, 2014 - 7:54AM

    @salman:
    We pray for our team’s success but unfortunately circumstances in Australia and New Zealand will be completely opposite.

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  • Mirza
    Nov 11, 2014 - 10:33AM

    One can understand and appreciate real records. However, making more than 80 runs each is not a real record. Making more than 50 or 100 has been a milestone but making more than 60 or more than 80 or more than 85 is stretching records for the sake of calling them records. Making dead slow wickets may help achieve high batting averages but it would not be much help in foreign conditions like England, Australia or even Sri Lanka. How are we going to get our boys ready for fast pitches against real fast bowlers?

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  • A2
    Nov 11, 2014 - 11:15AM

    The headline is in really bad taste. A fractured skull is not something to be made light of.

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  • WeWillWin
    Nov 12, 2014 - 12:21AM

    @Mirza, so what is your solution ? Should we transfer our home series to England and NZ, to take advantage of foreign conditions and give them home advantage, similar to what other subcontinent teams are doing right ? by that logic take away all home games from Indian , Sirilankan and Bangladesh batsmen as the records are made on slow pitches

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  • Faizan Polani
    Nov 12, 2014 - 12:43AM

    Thats a really poor headline…probably the worst I have come across in quite a while

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  • salman
    Nov 12, 2014 - 4:44AM

    Pakistan has defeated NZ many times in their conditions both in test matches as well ODIs. Australian pitches, apart from Perth(WACCA) have become batsman friendly over the years and more than the pitches, our batting line up flunks just because of lack of confidence,self destruction and even smallish targets becomes hard for us. So just to avoid the same scare, it is really good to see them in form not just one or two but everyone.

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  • Zafar
    Nov 12, 2014 - 12:15PM

    Pakistan had made a New Zealand out of Australia.

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  • Nov 13, 2014 - 12:26PM

    Misbah has show great character! Well done Team.

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  • Nov 13, 2014 - 12:38PM

    What an alternatine phenomenal achivement, Third sussessive accomplishment against two distinctive Pacific titans of Cricket.
    They were prior treated with utter disdain by nonchalant Pakistani players.
    Thirteen centuries in six fractional innings and staggering records too.
    Bravo Pakistan.

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  • ubedullah
    Nov 13, 2014 - 12:44PM

    Well done Pakistan team for achieving a gallant milestone.

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  • Roomi
    Nov 13, 2014 - 1:06PM

    @ Mirza – Pakistan has hardly ever been good on bouncy tracks even when they had Miandad, Zaheer, Majid Khan. They got bowled out for 63 in Perth. So to destroy Australia and now Newzeland back to back is still a great achievement with Neutral Umpires and a make shift “home” in UAE where curators are still Independant . Yes the conditions suit us better and we exploited them well. So Do not be a SPOIL SPORT and give credit where it is due. Misbah is the most successful Captain ever in Pakistan history and this team is playing brilliantly with its limited resources. We may lose again in Australia but let us enjoy this moment and treasure it !! Well Done Misbah and Team Pakistan !!

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  • Nov 13, 2014 - 1:48PM

    Congratulations! Mubarak! VIva! Bravo! Let us not be upbeat on the team’s performance. T20s and ODIs are the real test of present day cricket and not five-day Test matches. Salams

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