The New Zealand spinners made early progress, but skipper Babar Azam’s unbeaten 54 scored 54 at lunchtime on Monday (December 26) at the opening day of the two-game Test series in Karachi. By time we had restored Pakistan to 115/4. The host all lost the top three within his first hour of batting and all tried to challenge the spinner. Babar scored for Saud He paired with Shaquille (22) and he took a 62-run winning streak, but Tim saw his Southie finish the session from the end before his break. After letting go, the Pakistani skipper had a lot of work to do to get his side back on its feet.
New Zealand provided a spin in his four overs and Ajaz Patel gave his team the breakthrough they needed. Seeing Abdullah Shafique walking down the stretch, the spinner pulled back his length with his left arm and the ball cleared the hitter. Tom Blundell quickly demolished the bail behind the stump. On the other side, Michael Bracewell did the same against lefty Shan Massod and was successful.
Imam-ul-Haq punished several loose his balls from spinners in a short stay of 24 years. But he was another culprit for deliberately giving the ball to Bracewell before drinking.The batter tried to go over the middle but Southey completed an easy catch as Pakistan fell 3-48.
But New Zealand continued with two successful spinners for far too long as Babar and Shaquille couldn’t settle in. The Pakistani skipper, who was demoted to 12th after Darryl Mitchell slipped, had a leg up. successfully entered the pitch of the ball and collected the boundaries. He charged Pakistan with 62 runs for the fourth wicket over the 100-run mark.
Southey then returned to lunch punches and the bowling change had immediate results for the visitors. The New Zealand captain lured Shaquille on a wide drive with a full, wide ball, while the Pakistani batsman took the bait and delivered a sharp catch in the gutter. Sarfaraz Ahmed, who replaced Mohammad Rizwan as the 11th batsman, hit the mark on the home pitch with a well-timed straight drive past the bowlers as the hosts resumed repair work.
Pakistan 115/4 (Babar Azam 54*; Michael Bracewell 2-32) v New Zealand.