Talented Asad stars for Pakistan | Pakistan Today

Talented Asad stars for Pakistan

Pakistan needed little time to fetch the remaining three Kiwi wickets on day two as the hosts were all out for 275. Tanvir Ahmed ended with 4-63 as Pakistan looked to take advantage on a good batting strip. However their start was far from convincing as Mohammad Hafeez fell on the fourth ball of the innings. From there on, Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali joined led the recovery. But almost all the Pakistan batsmen were dismissed after getting started, due to their own mistakes rather than the brilliance of the opposition. Azhar fell for 24, Taufeeq for 54 and Younis Khan for 23. Soon Pakistan were in a spot of bother at 107-4. Just when it looked that Pakistani batting might collapse yet again, young Asad Shafiq joined hands with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq to help Pakistan. Both remained together for more than three hours till the end of the day’s play to put the visitors on top. Asad played with positive intent, stroking some solid boundaries, while Misbah fought it out doggedly from the other end.
New Zealand bowling was timid as they used six bowlers in all, including two part timers in Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill, without making much of an impact. Surprisingly, Captain Daniel Vettori looked off colour and failed to trouble the Pakistani batsmen. Asad completed his 50 off 113 balls as Pakistan’s position solidified. Pakistan ended the day at a 235-4, with Asad unbeaten on 74 and Misbah fighting it out on 50 not out. Pakistan still trail New Zealand by 40 runs and have six wickets remaining.
The point of concern for the visitors will be the availability of the new ball straightway on day three. With New Zealand bowlers fresh after the overnight rest, Pakistani batsmen may be tested. Also, Pakistan have a longish tail, with Adnan Akmal next in followed by the bowlers. So the unbeaten pair need to come out and play well right from the word go on day three to nullify the new ball advantage and aim to take a good first innings lead with the pitch still conducive for batting.
Star of the day: Asad Shafiq comes from Pakistan’s next generation of batsmen. He is small in stature but is technically well equipped and has a good temperament. On day two of the first Test, Asad came to the crease when Pakistan had lost four wickets for not many runs, and from there on batted well to be unbeaten at the end of day’s play. Asad stroked 12 delightful boundaries as he knitted an invaluable 128 runs partnership with Misbah-ul-Haq to resurrect Pakistan.
Moment that Mattered: Pakistan started relatively well in reply to New Zealand’s 275 on day two. However they kept on loosing wickets at regular intervals before being 107-4. From there on Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq batted responsibly to repair the damage. While Asad was more aggressive with his strokes, Misbah quietly went about his innings from the other end. By the end of the day the unbeaten partnership of 128 between Asad Shafiq (74*) and Misbah-ul-Haq (50*) saw Pakistan edge ahead of the Black Caps on day two of the first Test.

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