Azhar, Fawad at crease as Pakistan need 302 runs to win on last day


Mount Maunganui: Azhar Ali (34*) and Fawad Alam (21*) held their nerves calm as Pakistan survived to reach 71-3 at stumps on day 4 against New Zealand. 

Needing 373 runs to win the opening Test, Pakistan started their batting poorly with openers Abid Ali and Shan Masood getting out for naught. Haris Sohail and Azhar Ali supported Pakistan from 0-2 to 37-2 but their partnership couldn’t last long as Haris fell prey to Tim Southee after scoring 9 runs.

Then, Azhar and Fawad got their hands on New Zealand bowlers and the duo scored 34 runs together so far while chasing 373 runs. They need 302 runs to win on the last day of the opening Test.

Southee bagged two wickets while Trent Boult struck once as New Zealand took three early wickets to maintain their supremacy on the scoreboard.

Boult removed Abid while Southee dismissed Shan for naught to have Pakistan two down for four runs at tea, still needing 369 runs with four sessions remaining.

Earlier, New Zealand declared at 180 for five, half-an-hour before tea. Openers Tom Blundell and Tom Latham put on 111 for the first wicket.

Blundell was bowled out for 64 trying to slog Mohammad Abbas over midwicket. Latham reached his 20th Test fifty with a cover-drive but he was dismissed soon after for 53 when Pakistan successfully switched to a short-ball attack.

Kane Williamson went for 21 when he top-edged a pull shot to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, and Henry Nicholls was caught at fine leg for 11.

BJ Watling was run out for five, leaving Ross Taylor not out 12 and Mitchell Santner on six at the close. For Pakistan, Naseem Shah took three for 55.

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