You are currently viewing Cricket 1st Test: Green Shirts vs NZ

Cricket 1st Test: Green Shirts vs NZ

KARACHI: Skipper Babar Azam hit a brilliant century to lead Pakistan’s recovery to 224-4 at tea after New Zealand’s spinners made early inroads on the opening day of the first Test in Karachi on Monday.

Azam struck spinner Michael Bracewell for a six towards mid-wicket to complete his ninth Test century, reviving Pakistan after they were struggling on 115-4 at lunch.

Having won the toss and batted, Azam was unbeaten on 119, with the recalled Sarfaraz Ahmed alongside him on 43, as they added 114 for an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership.

Azam also hit 11 boundaries while Ahmed — playing his first Test since January 2019 — had seven hits to the rope.

New Zealand will be ruing letting Azam off the hook when he was on just 12 after Daryl Mitchell spilt a regulation catch at slip off Bracewell.

The tourists also failed to run out Azam on 54 when Devon Conway missed the stumps with the skipper well short of his crease.

New Zealand’s spinners dominated the first session, with Bracewell dismissing Shan Masood for three and Imamul Haq for 24, while Patel took the early wicket of Abdullah Shafique for seven.
In the penultimate over before lunch, fast bowler Tim Southee dismissed Saud Shakeel for 22 to complete a successful session for the tourists, playing their first Test series in Pakistan since 2002.

New Zealand’s decision to play with three spinners appeared justified, as the National Stadium pitch took a turn right from the start. Patel came on to bowl in just the fourth over of the innings.

He turned his third ball across a forward-playing Shafique and had him stumped by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.

Bracewell then had Masood stumped in his second over before Haq miscued a drive off him and was caught at mid-off.

This is the first time in Test cricket history that the first two dismissals in an innings were both stumped.

Pakistan, who suffered their first-ever 3-0 home whitewash to England last week, recalled Ahmed, Mir Hamza and Haq to the side.


Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Agha Salman, Abrar Ahmed, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Wasim, Nauman Ali

New Zealand: Tim Southee (captain), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson

Umpires: Alex Wharf (ENG) and Aleem Dar (PAK)

Tv umpire: Ahsan Raza (PAK)

Match referee: Mohammad Javed Malik (PAK)


M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.