Patient Pakistan take control in NZ

Misbah and Shafiq make unbroken 128 runs, resurrecting Pakistan's innings on day two of first Test.

    Shafiq, above, played his part in Pakistan's strong day two partnership opposite Misbah ul-Haq [GALLO/GETTY]

    Pakistani Captain Misbah ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq shared an unbroken 128-run partnership as the second day of the first Test against New Zealand came to an end.

    That score lifted Pakistan to 235-4 on Saturday, resurrecting Pakistan's first innings as Shafiq posted 74, the highest score of the match so far, and Misbah reached 50 off 129 balls.

    Sustained pressure from Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee had seen New Zealand capture three wickets in the middle session, leaving Pakistan struggling at 107 for four at New Zeland's sun-drenched Seddon Park.

    But Misbah and Shafiq, mindful that another wicket would expose the lower order to a fired-up New Zealand bowling attack, slowly wore down the New Zealanders until they got a bad ball to hit.

    "Misbah and Asad both played brilliantly and because of that we are in the driving seat right now," said left-handed opener Taufeeq Umar, who scored a quick-fire 54.

    "Our first target is above 275 and then let's see. If Misbah and Asad keep playing like this we are looking for about a 100-run lead."

    Bowled over

    The home side, bowled out for 275 early on Saturday, had completed 80 overs by stumps and will be able to take the new ball first thing on Sunday.

    Chris Martin, who took 2-67 on Saturday and will start the proceedings on the third day, said New Zealand had the chance to balance the match if it bowled well.

    "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, 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 it lost opener Mohammad Hafeez fourth ball but Taufeeq and Azhar Ali led a recovery, putting on 72 for the second wicket.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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