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NZ fight back after Pakistan's Ak attack

New Zealand fought back from a vicious spell of pace bowling from Pakistan express bowler Shoaib Akhtar to be 151 for five at stumps on the first day.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2003 12:30 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

New Zealand fought back from a vicious spell of pace bowling from Pakistan express bowler Shoaib Akhtar to be 151 for five at stumps on the first day of the second cricket Test at the Basin Reserve on Friday.

Akhtar, in his comeback game after missing the first Test with a hamstring strain, finished the day with the remarkable figures of three for 14 off 11 overs, after having New Zealand at two wickets for one run at one stage.

However, there were concerns about his fitness at the end of the day when he developed a limp just before stumps and did not bowl the last over as expected.

After a shaky start, the ever-diligent Mark Richardson anchored the New Zealand recovery to be 53 not out at stumps with Robbie Hart on three.

Bowling with a howling northerly at his back and reaching speeds of up to 156 kilometres an hour (96.7 mph), Akhtar had both Lou Vincent and Stephen Fleming back in the pavilion without scoring, and followed up with the wicket of Scott Styris.

Vincent had no chance when a scorching full-length delivery shot between bat and pad. It was the New Zealand opener's third failure of the series after scores of eight and four in Hamilton.

Captain Fleming, who won the toss and chose to bat first on what appeared a good batting pitch, had a scare off his first ball when Akhtar's confident leg before wicket shout was turned down by umpire Asoka de Silva.

He survived two more balls before the rain set in, and when play resumed nearly three hours later he was out first ball for his second consecutive duck after amassing 192 in the first innings of the first Test.

Abdur Razzaq had New Zealand at 41 for three when Test debutant Richard Jones, a later inclusion after all rounder Chris Cairns pulled out with a virus, chopped the ball on to his stumps to be dismissed for 16.

At the other end, Richardson battled on, leading the Black Caps recovery with a 53-run partnership with Styris then a 51-run combination with Craig McMillan to give New Zealand a modicum of respectability.

Styris went soon after tea, getting a touch to a flyer from Akhtar which wicketkeeper Moin Khan took in front of his eyes.

McMillan was unlucky and showed his disapproval when given out leg before to Shabbir Ahmed when television replays showed an inside edge before the ball hit the pads.

But Pakistan were equally annoyed when Akhtar was denied Robbie Hart's wicket. Replays showed the ball come off Hart's gloves and Khan took a superb catch down the leg side.

While Akhtar starred with the ball, his support crew were all economical.

Mohammad Sami, who destroyed New Zealand's top order in the second innings of the first Test, had none for 39 off 19 overs, while Shabbir had one for 31 from 15 and young spinner Danish Kaneria ended the day with none for 10 from eight overs.

The inclusion of Jones for Cairns was the only change to the New Zealand team from the side which clung on for a draw in the first Test in Hamilton, while Pakistan also made one change with Akhtar replacing paceman Umar Gul.

First Published: Dec 26, 2003 05:49 IST