Pakistan tour of New Zealand: Azhar Ali pointed out that facing Kyle Jamieson on the Christchurch wicket was challenging but expressed delight at how Pakistan made use of the scoring opportunities on Day 1 of the 2nd Test.
2nd Test: Azhar Ali lauds Pakistan’s positive batting approach vs New Zealand (AP Photo)
- Pakistan headed to stumps at 297-all out after New Zealand opted to field
- Azhar Ali led the batting show with 93 and was ably supported by Mohammad Rizwan
- Azhar Ali said Pakistan have posted enough to challenge New Zealand on Day 2
Pakistan’s former Test captain Azhar Ali on Sunday was delighted with the “positive approach” from their batsmen on Day 1 of the 2nd and final Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. Pakistan were bowled out at Stumps but the visitors managed to post 297 on the board.
Led by Azhar Ali’s stroke-filled 93, Pakistan overcame a stiff test on a green top after Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to field. Ali hit 12 boundaries in his 172-ball knock even as Fawad Alam, Shan Masood and Haris Sohail failed to trouble the scorers much.
Pakistan were reeling at 83 for 4 at one point in time but stand-in captain Mohammad Rizwan and Azhar Ali continued to put pressure on New Zealand bowlers with an 88-run stand. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf shone with an 88-ball 48 while debutant Zafar Gohar chipped in with 34.
Kyle Jamieson picked up 5 wickets while Trent Boult and Tim Southee picked up 2 wickets each. However, it was Matt Henry who denied Ali a well-deserved hundred on Day 1.
Ali is confident that Pakistan have put enough runs on the board to test New Zealand on Day 2. The hosts have sealed an unbeatable 1-0 lead after a Kane Williamson hundred gave them a 101-run win in the first Test last year.
“We were positive, especially when the ball is in your zone you must score off it, on these kinds of wickets, because you’re going to get one good ball at some stage,” Ali said.
“You have seen the run rate was good so it’s a good enough pitch to score runs but obviously in between, you need to leave on length, which was the key in my batting. If you look at the pitch it’s a decent total, especially batting first. It’s been tough all day so we feel we have enough runs on the board and we can build on it tomorrow.”
Azhar Ali said facing Kyle Jamieson was not an easy task on the Christchurch wicket but Pakistan managed to make use of each and every scoring opportunity that came their way.
“The guy [Jamieson] is quite tall and hitting good lines and lengths and swinging the ball both ways, so it was fun and tough as well. With this height we obviously needed to consolidate as much as we could. But when the ball is there to hit and whenever we got the opportunity we did score boundaries as well,” Ali said.