Younis Khan reached his 29th half century on day three © Getty Images (File photo)
Younis Khan reached his 29th half century on day three © Getty Images (File photo)

Nov 18, 2014

Another clinical half-century by Pakistan‘s run machine Younis Khan and solid batsmanship by Azhar Ali took Pakistan towards stability in the first session of day three of the second Test as at lunch they reached  118 for two. New Zealand bowlers were ineffective, in front of both Pakistani batsmen’s determination and application. They scored a healthy 84 runs in the session and gave Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum plenty to think about.

Two overnight not out batsmen Azhar Ali and Younis began the day carefully against Trent Boult and Tim Southee who started the day for New Zealand. Both right-handers looked determined not to throw away their starts. Boult and Southee tested them with some short stuffs, but Pakistani batsmen looked undisturbed.

After six overs of pace bowling New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum introduced spin in the form of Mark Craig. Soon the other spinner, Sodhi was also came to ball. As soon as the spinners came in Younis changed gear. He used his feat and came down the track to both Craig and Sodhi and sent the ball  to mid-wicket fence for two huge sixes. By batting aggressively against spinners the run machine of Pakistan was not allowing the spinners to settle. Southee got some reverse swing when he asked to bowl in his second spell of the day. Couple of balls turned sharply for Sodhi too. But both Azhar and Younis handled it quite efficiently.

One improvement that was observed in the batting of both of these Pakistani batsmen, they hardly played the sweep shot against the spinners. That was the mistake they were making in the previous games. Instead of sweeping, Azhar and Younis used their feet and played them with straight bat. The first hour was productive for the hosts, as they scored 50 runs in 15 overs. The next hour produced 34 runs.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 403 (Tom Latham 137, Brendon McCullum 43; Ehsan Adil 2 for 69, Yasir Shah 2 for 89) lead Pakistan 118 for 2 (Azhar Ali 35, Younis Khan 53; Mark Craig 1 for 40, Ish Sodhi 1 for 30) by 285 runs.

Full Scorecard

Photo Gallery

Complete coverage of Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014