Pakistan graft to solid position after 2nd day

A important unbroken 128-run stand between Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq saw Pakistan restore control of the first Test against New Zealand on the 2nd day on Saturday.

The salvage mission for the fifth wicket took Pakistan to 235 for four at stumps, trailing New Zealand’s first innings 275 by 40 runs, with six wickets in hand.

Shafiq has produced the maximum score of the Test so far to be unbeaten on 74 with his captain Misbah on 50 not out.

The pair joined together when New Zealand had gripped the initiative in the middle session with 3 fast wickets to have Pakistan teetering at 107 for four.

But the bowlers were not able to press home their advantage, toiling away on a placid wicket while Shafiq and Misbah set about saving Pakistan’s innings.

The in-form Misbah grafted for more than three hours and was content to play the anchor role while Shafiq kept the scoreboard ticking over, finding boundaries with ease.

New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori rotated his bowlers and even resorted to using part-timers Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill but Shafiq belted both of them out of the attack, scoring freely on both sides of the wicket.

Shafiq reached his 50 tickling an attempted yorker from Brent Arnel to fine-leg for a single and 14 overs later Misbah reached his milestone, hitting Williamson to the boundary.

The New Zealand first innings finished in the morning when their last three wickets fell for the addition of 15 runs.

Tim Southee unsuccessful to add to his overnight 56 while Kane Williamson reached 50 before he fell and Arnel was the last batsman to be dismissed.

Tanvir Ahmed had the best come back of the Pakistan bowlers with four for 63. Abdur Rehman, who tied up New Zealand on the first day, was not required on the second morning and did not add to his overnight figures of three for 51.

New Zealand then made the best possible start in Pakistan’s innings when Chris Martin dismissed Mohammad Hafeez without scoring in the opening over, caught at second slip by Tim McIntosh.

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