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NZ v PAK, 2nd Test Day 1 Review: Rain halts Pakistan progress at Hamilton

Pakistan
Captain Azhar Ali of Pakistan, (C) asks for a review of the wicket of Ross Taylor of New Zealand during day one of the Second Test match. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

Mohammad Amir and Sohail Khan picked up a wicket apiece for Pakistan as rain halted their charge on the first day’s play at Hamilton. Just the 21 overs were managed to be bowled as the Kiwis managed 77 runs for the loss of two wickets before they were seemingly saved by the rains. Ross Taylor and Jeet Raval were once again the ones who managed to keep the Pakistanis at bay prior to the close of play.

With Misbah-ul-Haq missing through an injury, it was Azhar Ali who was handed the mantle of Test captaincy, something that does not happen an awful lot. However, in spite of the forces and the odds against him, he won the toss and opted to field first in what were some tremendous conditions for the seamers.

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This decision to field first was something impressive as Azhar succeeded in getting a response early from his bowlers. Mohammad Amir struck in his first over with some impressive swing bowling. The third delivery from Amir in the match saw Sami Aslam drop Jeet Raval in the slips. This was a peach of a delivery and Amir was making the ball do the talking.

Although it was Sami Aslam who dropped the catch at slip, the Pakistani opener had a chance to redeem himself. Two deliveries later, Aslam clung onto a catch from the impressive Tom Latham was dismissed for a golden duck, something that does not happen all that often. Kane Williamson came in to help Raval to stabilize.

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The stabilization, however, took almost an hour to complete. In spite of batting for a lot of overs, both batsmen looked very unlikely to be settled. Williamson looked very insecure which was a concern for the likes of the New Zealand coaches watching from the haven of the pavilion. The 26-year old New Zealand skipper was ready to be put out his misery soon when Sohail Khan picked him up after he had managed just the 13 runs.

The in-assurance of Williamson finally gave way as an outswinger from Sohail Khan finally ensured that the latter had lost his wicket. What came next was the crusade from New Zealand led by Jeet Raval and Ross Taylor who were intent on saving the face of the Kiwis who were seemingly on the brink of a collapse.

While Raval was plying his patient trade of batsmanship, it was Ross Taylor who looked very assured with his batting despite the loss of form as well as the issues he has been having with his eyesight of late. He remained unbeaten on 29 while Raval remained unbeaten on 35 at the close of play in Hamilton.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand, 1st innings: 77/2 (J Raval 35*; M Amir 1/15)

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