Babar Azam has looked in excellent touch so far    Getty Images
Babar Azam has looked in excellent touch so far Getty Images

Pakistan have comeback strongly to go to lunch at 200 for 8 against New Zealand on Day Three of the second Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton. They still trail New Zealand by 71 runs. Babar Azam has played incredibly well and has scored a vital fifty. Sarfraz Ahmed played excellent attacking cricket, but fell for 41 off 44. Sohail Khan at No, 8 has played a gem of an innings to help Pakistan reach a position from where wiping out New Zealand s first innings total looks possible. Pakistan began the day, struggling at 76 for 5 and will be happy with the way the first session has gone. Neil Wagner is the lone wicket-taker for New Zealand on Day Three so far. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 2nd Test at Hamilton

Sarfraz had a few lucky escapes. Not only did New Zealand miss a couple of run outs, but he was also dropped by Henry Nicholls of Tim Southe when he was in his 20s. Southee, who had an excellent day yesterday, cost New Zealand 32 runs in his first three overs of the day. After Sarefaz was dismissed, Sohail did not get bogged down by the bowlers. He smashed Wagner for back-to-back sixes off short deliveries letting the opposition know that he is not going to just defend. He scored four fours and two sixes before edging one to Watling to give Southee his fourth wicket of the innings. Sohail and Azam had added 67 for the eighth wicket, which took Pakistan close to the 200-run mark.

Wahab Riaz did not last long as he was dismissed for a duck off Colin de Grandhomme. He was adjudged leg before and after a brief consultation with his partner, he took a review. The replays showed that the ball would have just clipped the leg stump, giving New Zealand two wickets in quick succession. Despite the runs scored, Pakistan have lost three wickets in the session. Azam is going to be key from here. He has batted very well so far and if he can get to three figures, it might perhaps turn out to be game changer. However, he needs some help from the last two batsmen to get as close as possible to the New Zealand total.

There was some rain before the start of play and rain caused an early end to the first session as well. New Zealand will resume the second session with the aim to knock over the remaining two Pakistan wickets as early as possible.

On Day One, Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bowl first. They bowled New Zealand out for 271. Opener Jeet Raval top-scored for them with 55. Wicketkeeper BJ Watling struck a crucial 49 not out. As far as the Pakistan bowlers are concerned, Sohail picked up four and Imran Khan chipped in with three.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand 271 (Jeet Raval 55, BJ Watling 49*; Sohail Khan 4 for 99, Imran Khan 3 for 52) lead Pakistan 200 for 8 (Babar Azam 81*, Sarfraz Ahmed 41; Tim Southee 4 for 68, Neil Wagner 3 for 59) 71 runs

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