Pakistan make Black Caps pay

2011-01-07 08:28
Tim Southee (AFP)

Hamilton - Poor shot selection saw New Zealand squander a steady start to the first Test against Pakistan and they were battling for respectability at the close of the opening day on Friday.

At stumps New Zealand were 260 for seven, their innings built around only two partnerships of note.

Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill put on 83 for the second wicket while Kane Williamson (44) and Tim Southee (56) have put on 83 in their unbeaten eighth-wicket stand.

In between, New Zealand lost six wickets for 85 runs as they wrestled with the miserly spin of Abdur Rehman, who was able to produce prodigious turn at times to finish the day with three for 51 off 30 overs including 13 maidens.

When Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl they did not get the assistance expected from the overcast conditions and after New Zealand lost Tim McIntosh early, McCullum and Guptill guided them through to lunch at 78 for one.

But when it appeared the top order pair were lining themselves up to build a solid foundation, the innings began to fall apart when play resumed.

McCullum, who was fortunate to survive a caught behind appeal when on 34, reached 56 before he was the first wicket to fall when he abandoned his circumspect approach of the opening session to hit out at Umar Gul.

Since stepping down as the New Zealand wicketkeeper, McCullum has been intent on forging a name for himself as an opening batsmen while retaining the swashbuckling approach to batting that served him lower down the order.

He succeeded with two sixes off Gul, a drive and a pull, to reach his 18th Test half-century before flashing at a wide delivery which went straight to Azhar Ali at deep point.

Ross Taylor was tucked up by Rehman attempting a cut shot that was not there and bottom-edged the ball to wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal to be out for six.

Jesse Ryder was run out for 22, and Guptill who had battled patiently for nearly four hours to reach 50, patted a full toss from Rehman straight to Misbah-ul-Haq at cover.

Reece Young (14) and Daniel Vettori (0) both mistimed sweep shots to fall leg before wicket leaving Williamson and Southee to mount a face-saving stand.

The 20-year-old Williamson has faced 110 balls for his 44 while Southee, who came in at the fall of Vettori's wicket, has reached 56 off 81 deliveries.

Supporting Rehman with the ball, Tanvir Ahmed finished the day with two for 54, claiming the wickets of McIntosh and Vettori, while senior bowler Gul captured the wicket of McCullum while conceding 78 runs from 20 overs.

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