Cricket body’s inquiry panel to pronounce verdict on February 5 on three players accused of spot-fixing.
|New Zealand’s Brendan McCullum walks off the field after contributing just two runs to the hosts’ innings [AFP]|
Pakistan wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal took five catches as New Zealand’s top order failed to capitalise on sound starts and battled to 246 for six at the close of play on the first day of the second Test in Wellington.
The hosts’ wicketkeeper Reece Young, playing his second Test match, was on 28 and captain Daniel Vettori on 38 having forged an unbroken 66-run partnership that ensured the visitors had not taken total control.
Strong northerly winds, with gusts in excess of 80kph, played havoc with the Pakistani bowlers, who were forced on several occasions to pull out of their approach to the wicket as they were blown off course.
Ross Taylor was the standout in the New Zealand innings, ending a barren run to notch his 11th Test half century, before he was dismissed for 78 just when it appeared his sixth Test century was on offer.
The 26-year-old’s previous eight innings had brought a total of just 172 runs at an average of 21.5 with one score in excess of 50.
Saturday’s innings was his best Test score since he scored a century against Australia last year.
“I went out there and tried to play as aggressively as possible without being reckless,” Taylor told reporters.
“I was 10 or 15 pretty quickly, probably off a run a ball, and settled into my innings from there.
“I haven’t felt out of nick, I just haven’t scored the runs and today I should have…got three figures but I didn’t do that.”
Taylor shared in a 68-run fifth-wicket partnership with James Franklin before both fell in short order in the final session.
Franklin had battled to 33 before he tickled an Abdul Rehman leg-side delivery to Akmal that broke the promising partnership and left New Zealand floundering at 166 for five.
Taylor followed with the score on 180 when he slashed at a full, wide delivery from Wahab Riaz, which was his first of a new spell, and Akmal took a diving catch to his right.
The pair had been forced to resurrect New Zealand’s innings after an all too familiar mini-collapse had threatened to totally derail their innings after lunch.
“(We lost) probably one or two wickets too many,” Taylor said.
“We saw at the end there with the wind you are always going to get tired.
“Youngy and Dan made the most of that. So, evenly poised but I guess the first hour will be the key in the morning.”