Shehzad hit a brilliant hundred to steer Pakistan to 269-1 at the close of the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday © Getty Images
Shehzad hit a brilliant hundred to steer Pakistan to 269-1 at the close of the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday © Getty Images

Johannesburg: Nov 10, 2014

Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad loves to prove himself in Test cricket and believes that it is the real test of a player’s skill.

Shehzad hit a brilliant hundred to steer Pakistan to 269-1 at the close of the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. He remained unbeaten on 126, his third Test hundred, all made this year.

However, fellow opener Mohammad Hafeez missed his ton by four runs as New Zealand’s pace-cum spin attack toiled hard on an unresponsive pitch at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Sport24 reported.

Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 46, having added 91 for the unbroken second wicket stand with Shehzad.

It was another batting domination by Pakistan after Brendon McCullum called wrongly at the toss and his counterpart Misbah-ul Haq took no time in opting to bat, as he did in the 356-run mauling of Australia in the second Test at the same venue last week.

Shehzad ensured he did not miss the three-figure mark, taking a single off seamer Jimmy Neesham to reach his hundred off 221 balls with 12 boundaries.

In all Shehzad hit 14 boundaries during his 290-ball stay and even a second new ball after 80 overs did not waver his concentration.

Hafeez and Shehzad put on Pakistan’s best stand of 178 against New Zealand in all Tests, beating the 172-run partnership between Ramiz Raja and Shoaib Mohammad in the Karachi Test in 1990.

Shehzad admitted that he has worked hard on his batting. He said that he loves to prove himself in Test cricket, which is the real test of a player’s skill, and he is happy that he has done that.