Williamson leads New Zealand recovery with unbeaten 94 on first day
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PAKISTAN’s Shaheen Afridi struck early to reduce New Zealand to 13-2 before Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor steered the Black Caps into a strong position on day one of the first Test at Mount Maunganui
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson survived two dropped catches as he closed in on his hundred on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan at Mount Maunganui.

Williamson, who reached stumps unbeaten on 94, shared a century partnership with Ross Taylor (70) to rescue the Black Caps after Shaheen Afridi had reduced them to 13-2.

But both Afridi and Naseem Shah saw the home skipper put down in the slips, while Henry Nicholls was also handed a life as New Zealand ended the first day in a comfortable position at 222-3.
Afridi (3-55) was immediately into his stride after Pakistan had won the toss and put the hosts in, having Tom Latham (4) caught at third slip with the third delivery of the match.

Latham’s opening partner, Tom Blundell (5), soon followed suit, with Yasir Shah taking the slip catch to give Afridi his second wicket, while Mohammad Abbas maintained the pressure with a relentlessly accurate spell at the other end.

Williamson and Taylor weathered the storm – although Pakistan could have picked up the captain’s wicket just before lunch when the diving Shan Masood was unable to hold on to an edge off Naseem.

While Afridi and Abbas continued to pose problems for New Zealand’s batsmen, Yasir came in for some punishment, with Taylor sweeping the leg-spinner for two fours and a six in quick succession.

The pair batted through the afternoon session, adding 120 before Afridi returned to dismiss Taylor shortly after tea, producing a perfect outswinger that took the edge and sailed into the wicketkeeper’s gloves.
But Pakistan failed to build on that breakthrough, with Naseem persuading Nicholls (42 not out) to go for an early hook shot that Abbas spilled at fine leg.
The tourists should also have picked up Williamson’s wicket late on, when Afridi found the edge again – only for Haris Sohail to fumble the opportunity at first slip

 

NEW ZEALAND 1st innings
Tom Latham c Azhar Ali b Shaheen Afridi 4
Tom Blundell c Yasir Shah b Shaheen Afridi 5
Kane Williamson Not Out 94
Ross Taylor c Mohammad Rizwan b Shaheen Afridi 70
Henry Nicholls Not Out 42
Extras 0b 3lb 4nb 0pen 0w 7
Total (87.0 overs) 222-3
Fall of Wickets : 1-4 Latham, 2-13 Blundell, 3-133 Taylor
To Bat : Watling, Santner, Jamieson, Southee, Wagner, Boult

Bowling: Shaheen Afridi 20- 5 – 55 -3, Mohammad Abbas 21- 11 – 25 -0.
Faheem Ashraf 13 – 5 – 30 – 0, Naseem Shah 15 – 1 – 51 – 0 (4nb),
Yasir Shah 16 – 2 – 56 – 0, Shan Masood 2 -1 – 2 – 0,0

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