ABU DHABI: Pakistan were 15 for no loss in their second innings against New Zealand at the end of Day 3 of the opening Test on Tuesday at Abu Dhabi. New Zealand could not avoid the follow-on as they were bowled out 262. Pakistan lead by 316 runs now. Their bowlers were on the money all day. Rahat Ali was the best bowler with four for 22.
Tom Latham top-scored for New Zealand with 103. Latham emulated his father Rod when he scored a hundred. Latham batted in a resolute manner. He had to grit it out in conditions that were alien to him. This was first Test Century. The manner in which he negotiated the spinners as nothing short of tremendous. Latham apart Corey Anderson and BJ Watling gave him some support with 48 and 42 respectively.
Despite Latham’s hundred the Pakistanis dominated. The Pakistani bowlers struck repeatedly. Apart from Ali the spinners Zulfiqar Babar and Mohammad Hazfeez did a very good job. Babar in particular at the start of the day had the New Zealand batsmen in all sorts of trouble. He bowled a good line and length throughout the day. He had New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum in some strife before he ultimately got him out. Mohammad Hafeez too stuck to a good line and length and he ended up with Jimmy Neesham’s wicket. Misbah ul Haq rung in the changes constantly throughout the day. Most of the bowlers bowled short spells.
Latham apart the rest of the batsmen with the exception of Corey Anderson and BJ Watling were all at sea. New Zealand was 15 for no loss overnight with skipper Brendon McCullum and Tom Latham at the crease. Both Anderson and BJ Watling gave him good support but despite their knocks New Zealand stuttered to 262. After the lunch interval Anderson who took the attack to the bowlers. He was particularly severe on Yasir Shah who he swept continuously for four.
He even went after Mohammad Hafeez by going down the track on more than one occasion. In no time he had reached 48. It looked as if it would be a matter of time he would get to his half-century before Rahat Ali had him driving at one that was wide. Anderson unfortunately played on. Losing Anderson was a bad blow. He was batting well and did not look in apparent discomfort.
New Zealand was 15 for no loss overnight McCullum and Tom Latham at the crease. At the end of the lunch session Pakistan have them on the ropes with their star batsmen at 81 for three. McCullum was out for 18, Kane Williamson for three and Taylor for a duck. Williamson and Ross Taylor back in the pavilion. McCullum was out for 18, Kane Williamson for three and Taylor for a duck.
McCullum, who looked uncertain during his short stay, fell to the crafty left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar while trying to defend one that was spinning away. He only succeeded in edging the ball to first slip Younis Khan who took a good low catch.
McCullum had survived a few close calls before he Babar ultimately got him out. It was Imran Khan, the pacer, who had caused a few problems for him. There was one leg-before of an inswinger by Imran which was reviewed but the umpire ruled in McCullum’s favour. Another delivery by the same bowler clipped the pad and missed the stumps by a few inches. He would not survive for long.
In the first session Tom Latham survived two chances the first one at forward short leg when Babar had him pushing at one which bounced more and another one off Mohammad Hazfeez which spun away and bounced up off wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed’s glove and went to second slip but the fielder could not hold onto it. This was, however, all the luck that New Zealand on an attritional day.
In the end it was a stern test for the New Zealand batsmen. The Pakistani bowlers both pacers and spinners had the batsmen in a great deal of discomfort at all times. There were numerous appeals for leg-before and caught behind at all times. It was truly an acid test for New Zealand.
Brief scores:Pakistan 566 for 3 decl. (Ahmed Shehzad 176, Younis Khan 100*; Corey Anderson 2 for 68) & 15 for no loss (Azhar Ali 9*) lead New Zea land 262 ( Tom Latham 103, Corey Anderson 48 ; Rahat Ali 4 for 22) by 316 runs.