While chasing 373, Pakistan ended Day 4 on a positive note after a horrific start which saw both openers back in the hut on ducks. Trent Boult dismissed Abid Ali on his second ball of the innings while Tim Southee removed Shan Masood with a delivery that moved away from the left-hander. Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail battled it out for 15 overs. Azhar Ali looked at ease, unfazed by every challenge been thrown at him. On the other hand, Sohail looked edgy and eventually became Tim Southee’s 300th Test victim.

After that Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam showed great defence and application as they batted out for 20 overs scoring 34 runs. Pakistan finished the day at 71 for 3.

The Kiwis attack looked potent throughout the 38 overs they bowled today. Southee and Boult picked up one wicket. Neil Wagner showed his relentless attitude again and bowled six overs with a broken toe and conceded just 4 runs. Mitchell Santner and Kyle Jamieson also kept a lid on the scoring rate.

Earlier, New Zealand started their second innings with a 192-run advantage. Tom Blundell and Tom Latham denied Pakistan any hope of making a comeback with an opening partnership of 111. Muhammad Abbas who bowled his heart out in the first innings was the only one who threatened the Kiwis with the ball. Blundell, after a series of low scores in the last few matches, scored a dominating half-century with seven boundaries. He was eventually bowled by Abbas on 64.

An enthralling day of cricket awaits us if Pakistan can somehow survive the first two hours on Wednesday. Just a few months back, Azhar Ali scored a magnificent century to save the Test match at Old Trafford. Fawad Alam knows all about batting for time. Muhammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf also will take confidence from their first innings performance.

The author is a member of staff and heads the sports and business desks at The Correspondent. He mainly lives in the shadows as a ghost writer so you may have read his work and not even known it. He can be reached at asadqasim@thecorrespondent.pk


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here