Kiwis fight back in opener with Pakistan
Captain Misbah-ul-haq and Asad Sahfiq ground out an unbroken 128-run partnership to resurrect Pakistan's first innings and guide them to 235 for four at the close of play of the second day of the first test against New Zealand on Saturday.
Misbah built a slow and watchful 50 off 129 balls, while the 24-year-old Shafiq was on 74, his highest test score after he made 61 on debut against South Africa last November, to put Pakistan in a strong position heading into day three.
New Zealand, courtesy of a sustained period of pressure from Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee, had captured three wickets in the middle session to leave Pakistan struggling at 107 for four at a sun-drenched Seddon Park.
Misbah and Shafiq, however mindful another wicket would expose the lower order to a fired-up New Zealand bowling attack, wore down the tiring New Zealanders, patiently waiting until they got a bad ball to hit.
The hosts, who were bowled out for 275 early on Saturday, initially failed to capitalise on a perfect start when Mohammad Hafeez was caught low down by Tim McIntosh at second slip off Chris Martin in the first over of Pakistan's innings.
The bowlers, however, were then too loose and gave away too many boundaries as Pakistan romped to 67 for one by lunch with Taufeeq Umar on a breezy 42 not out.
However, after the lunch break the New Zealand bowlers tightened up to snare Taufeeq for 54, Azhar Ali (24) and the valuable wicket of Younus Khan for a quickfire 23 from 24 balls.
New Zealand had resumed on 260 for seven but after Umar Gul and Tanvir Ahmed provided a steady stream of short-pitched bowling they added just 15 runs in 7.5 overs with Tim Southee (56), Kane Williamson (50) and Brent Arnel (eight) all caught from mis-timed hook shots.
Tanvir finished with four for 63 while left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman claimed three for 51 on Friday.
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