Fired up Southee cre­ates havoc in Pak­istan ranks

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Tim Southee cap­tured three quick wick­ets to put New Zealand in a com­mand­ing po­si­tion in the sec­ond Test against Pak­istan yes­ter­day. Neil Wag­ner also bagged two wick­ets as Pak­istan col­lapsed to 76 for five at stumps on day two, still 195 runs be­hind New Zealand’s first in­nings to­tal of 271.

Babar Azam was not out 34 at the close of play at Hamil­ton’s Sed­don Park with Sar­fraz Ahmed un­beaten on nine. New Zealand, chas­ing their first se­ries win over Pak­istan in 31 years, had been in trou­ble at 5-119 be­fore BJ Watling’s 49 not out an­chored a tail-end re­vival that lifted the home team to a com­pet­i­tive to­tal. “We could have been bowled out for 200-210,” said Watling af­ter coax­ing the tail or­der to ex­tend the in­nings as long as pos­si­ble on a wicket of­fer­ing en­cour­age­ment to the seam­ers.

“I en­joy bat­ting with the tail. It can be a chal­lenge some­times. you have to try and keep them as fo­cused as they can but you just try to eke out as many runs as you can.”

But what the non-recog­nised New Zealand bats­men achieved, the Pak­istan top or­der failed to do as Southee en­ticed them into mak­ing a string of rash shots, seam­ing the ball away with a mix­ture of short and full-length de­liv­er­ies. In his third over, the New Zealand quickly re­moved opener Sami As­lam for five and Azhar Ali for one. Then, in his fifth over, he dis­missed the vet­eran You­nis Khan for two as Pak­istan slumped to 123. Azam and Shafiq briefly stead­ied the in­nings with a 39-run part­ner­ship be­fore Wag­ner’s dou­ble strike. He bowled Shafiq for 23 then fol­lowed up with a short ball to debu­tant Mo­ham­mad Rizwan which he hooked to Matt Henry on the bound­ary for a golden duck on his test de­but.

Ahmed took a sin­gle off the next ball to deny Wag­ner the hat trick.

A ‘DIS­AP­POINT­ING’ EF­FORT

Pak­istan speed­ster So­hail Khan de­scribed it as a “dis­ap­point­ing” ef­fort by their se­nior bats­men. “Our play­ers need to learn as quickly as pos­si­ble (to leave) the ball out­side the off stump be­cause the new ball does the trick here, and if you start chas­ing the ball out­side the off stump, like Asian pitches, it’s not the same here.”

At the close, Southee had fig­ures of three for 26 while Wag­ner had 2-15.

But with three days re­main­ing, So­hail held hope Pak­istan could re­cover. “One good part­ner­ship will take us close and from there a new game is started,” he said. “The re­spon­si­bil­ity will (then) be on the bowlers to get New Zealand out as quickly as pos­si­ble.” Re­sum­ing on 77-2 af­ter rain washed out most of the first day, New Zealand lost three early wick­ets. Ross Tay­lor went for 37, adding eight to his overnight score be­fore he was caught flat-footed by So­hail and edged the ball to wick­et­keeper Ahmed. Opener Jeet Raval ben­e­fit­ted from two dropped catches by As­lam, pro­gress­ing to 55 when he nicked Im­ran Khan to Rizwan who had taken over at first slip. Henry Ni­cholls (13) edged Wa­hab Riaz to Ahmed to have New Zealand 119-5 when Watling went to the crease. He added 51 with Colin de Grand­homme to lift New Zealand to 170-5 by lunch, only for de Grand­homme to fall to Im­ran on the first ball af­ter the re­sump­tion of play for 37. Mitchell Sant­ner con­trib­uted 16 to a 33-run stand for the sev­enth wicket be­fore edg­ing So­hail to You­nis Khan in slips.

Southee en­gaged in an in­trigu­ing bat­tle with Riaz which saw the swash­buck­ling New Zealan­der duck­ing, weav­ing and slash­ing through a bar­rage of short-pitched de­liv­er­ies.

He reached 29 off 28 balls be­fore he mis­judged a slower ball from So­hail and was bowled. New Zealand were all out in the third over af­ter tea when Watling ran out of part­ners and was left stranded one run short of a half­cen­tury. For Pak­istan, So­hail took 4-99 and Im­ran 3-52. — AFP

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