After bowling out New Zealand for 431 in the first innings, just after tea, Pakistan had to negotiate 20 overs of quality seam and swing from Tim Southee and Trent Boult. And they did that admirably for the most part of the session. Shan Masood was the only casualty as he battled it out for 42 deliveries before Kyle Jamieson dismissed him.

In the start, Masood was dropped off Southee’s bowling in slip. Nightwatchman Muhammad Abbas after bowling his heart out also showed character with bat in hand as he fended 15 balls while Abid Ali remained solid with his defence on 19 off 64. Both made sure that Pakistan will not lose more wickets till stumps.

Earlier, day 2 of the match started with disciplined bowling performance from Shaheen Shah Afridi and Muhammad Abbas. After negotiating the opening burst, Henry Nicholls reached his half-century while captain Kane Willaimson registered his 23rd Test ton. The duo added 133-runs for the fourth wicket before Naseem Shah got Nicholls with a scorching bouncer. Williamson’s long vigil came to an end soon as he fell to Yasir Shah.

With Kiwis 281-5, Pakistan sensed an opening but all their hopes were dashed by BJ Watling’s 73. The wicket-keeper batsmen ensured that New Zealand put a daunting score on the board. Kyle Jamieson made a crucial contribution of 32. Watling and Jamieson added 66 runs for the eight-wicket to put their team in the ascendancy.

Shaheen Shah was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors as he bagged 4 wickets in his 36 overs. Muhammad Abbas bowled a superb spell which saw him bowl 31 overs for just 49 runs with 14 maidens. He was unlucky to pick up only one wicket. His miserly spell helped Pakistan in keeping a lid on the score. The leg-spinner Yasir Shah struck three times in the innings while Naseem Shah and Faheem Ashraf got one each.

Pakistan still trail by 401 runs and will have their work cut out when they start on Day-3. The pitch seems like it has lost the vicious pace it had on the first day so batsmen need to capitalise on that. On the other hand, Kiwis will be looking to break this partnership and get into Pakistan’s dodgy middle order.


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