Azhar, Rizwan propel Pakistan to 297-run first innings total

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Christchurch: Senior batsman Azhar Ali’s 93 and stand-in captain Mohammad Rizwan’s 61 guided Pakistan post 297 all out in their first innings on the opening day of the second Test at the Hagley Oval on Sunday.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to field first. Pakistan lost opener Shan Masood (0) in the third over of the day to Tim Southee.

Abid Ali 25 (53 balls, three fours) added 62 runs for the second wicket with Azhar before falling to Kyle Jamieson.

The visitors then lost two more wickets in quick succession as Haris Sohail (1) and inform Fawad Alam (2) fell shortly before the lunch interval; Pakistan took lunch at 88 for four.

Azhar was then joined by Rizwan who rescued Pakistan after lunch. The duo smashed 88 runs with Rizwan being the aggressive one.

The 28-year-old Rizwan hit his fifth consecutive half-century and sixth overall. Rizwan was removed by Jamieson for 61 off 71 balls (11 fours).

On the other hand, Azhar fell seven runs short of his 18th Test century when fast bowler Matt Henry had him caught in the slips. Azhar strokes 12 fours in his 172-ball innings.

All-rounder Faheem Ashraf continued to show his form as he made a crucial 48-run contribution before becoming Jamieson’s fifth-wicket of the day. He made his runs off 88 balls and struck eight fours.

Debutant Zafar Gohar looked compact as he made a valuable lower-order contribution. The 25-year-old scored 34 off 62 balls before falling to Southee in the first over with the second new ball.

After his dismissal, Pakistan was wrapped on a total of 297 in 84th over. Jamieson took five wickets for 69, Southee and Boult took two wickets each.

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