Pakistan went through the first session without losing a wicket © Getty Images
Pakistan lost one wicket in the first session © Getty Images

By Indrajit Dutta

Nov 10, 2014

Pakistan were comfortably placed at 347 for two at lunch against New Zealand on the second day of the opening Test at Abu Dhabi on Monday. They continued thwart the New Zealand attack .

Ahmed Shehzad made 176 before he was out hit-wicket off a Corey Anderson bouncer toward the end of the session when he lost his balance and fell over with his bat slipping out of his hands and knocking the bails over. Before he was out he had batted in a solid fashion not giving the Kiwi bowlers any opportunity to break through his defences. Shehzad hah hit 17 fours in in his innings of 176. He looked set for a double century before his unusual dismissal.

Azhar Ali at the other end gave good support to Shehzad. He batted in a composed manner as he hit the occasional boundary. Shehzad and Azhar added more than 150 runs for the second wicket.

Shehzad continued from he left off on the first day as he made the bowlers toil hard. He attacked occasionally. A six off spinner Mark Craig was a highlight of the session. He came down the wicket and hit the ball over long on.

The New Zealand bowlers led by Tim Southee toiled hard but their efforts went unrewarded. On a pitch which has very little for the bowlers they stuck to a good line and length but could not make the breakthrough. At one times one saw a short cover and short mid on. Brendon McCullum, New Zealand skipper often in the first session employed field seen often in One-Day internationals.

The Kiwi bowlers tried numerous things but to no avail. Trent Boult went round the wicket as he tried to swing it in and get the batsmen either bowled or leg-before.  He, however, had no success. The off-spinner Mark Craig was brought on within the first ten overs of the day. He too had no impact. Craig too went round the wicket but could not produce the desired result. Even Tim Southee tried bowling from round the wicket for sometime but again nothing came off it.

Southee even tried to throw in a  few short deliveries but that did not work too. Left-arm seamer Corey Anderson was brought on. He had Shehzad playing in the air but the ball did no go to hand. Toward the end of the session Shehzad began to be more aggressive as he went after Corey Anderson. He miscued one but it fell far from the New Zealand fielders.  Shortly after he fell. Azhar Ali too looks set for a big score. He tackled the bowlers with aplomb.

The bowlers stuck to a line mostly outside the off-stump although on occasions Southee drifted down the leg-side. The Pakistani batsmen showed a lot of patience and did not do anything rash.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 347 for 2( Ahmed Shehzad 176, Azhar Ali 73*; Corey Anderson 2 for 46).

(Indrajit Dutta is a reporter with CricketCountry. He is also a published poet and author. His Twitter handle is @duttaindro)