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Pakistan take opening day honours

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2011 23:51 IST

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A half-century by tailender Tim Southee boosted New Zealand to 260-7 at stumps on first day of the first Test against Pakistan, putting the match back on an even keel.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman took three wickets to help reduce New Zealand to 177-7 after sending the home team in today, but Southee (56 not out) and Kane Williamson (44 not out) then combined for an unbeaten 83-run stand.

Rehman received a call-up to play his fifth test in the absence of regular spinner Saeed Ajmal who returned home after the death of his father.

When Pakistan captain Misbah ul-Haq won the toss and chose to bowl, it was in the expectation that the three-pronged pace attack would find early swing in humid conditions, but instead it was Rehman who profited on a bare, mostly placid pitch.

He dismissed Martin Guptill (50), Ross Taylor (6) and debuting wicketkeeper Reece Young (14) to finish the day with 3-51. Brendon McCullum gave the New Zealand innings early impetus, scoring 56 from 77 balls though his opening partner, Tim McIntosh, was out for 1 in only the second over of the day, caught by second slip Younis Khan off Tanvir Ahmed.

McCullum survived two confident appeals for catches behind the wicket. Replays showed he might have feathered an edge flashing at a wide delivery from Umar Gul and gloved an attempted hook off Wahab Riaz.

Australian umpire Rod Tucker adjudged McCullum not out on both occasions and he was reprieved because the umpire review system is not being used in this series.

By lunch New Zealand was 78-1 and Misbah's decision to bowl first seemed mistaken. But Rehman made his presence felt as Pakistan took four wickets in the middle session.

Brief score: NZ 260-7 (McCullum 56, Guptill 50, Tanvir Ahmed 2-54, Wahab Riaz 4-47, Abdur Rehman 3-51)