New Zealand are in control of Pakistan in the Second Test after Tim Southee ripped through the top order late on day two.
The fast bowler took three wickets, including the crucial snare of Younis Khan, leaving Pakistan reeling early on in their innings. Fellow pace-man Neil Wagner took two wickets, leaving Pakistan 76/5 at the end of day two. The visitors still trail by 195 runs.
New Zealand scored over 250, to the surprise of many, with a gritty and refusing batting display where most batsmen played their part. Being sent in on a green deck, most experts were predicting that 150 would be a good score in changeable conditions, but missed opportunities by Pakistan saw New Zealand let off the hook.
Colin de Grandhomme had earlier batted New Zealand out of trouble after Pakistan took three crucial wickets in the morning session of day two.
The all-rounder hit a quick-fire 25 from just 38 deliveries, proving that he is a utility with the bat as well as the ball. In the First Test, de Grandhomme put up the best figures for a bowler on Test debut, taking six wickets of his own in the first innings.
While he played a little recklessly at times, de Grandhomme didn’t fear the loss of his wicket and steered his side past 150 but was dismissed on his first ball after lunch.
Jeet Raval had earlier brought up his second Test half-century before being dismissed, joining Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls in the sheds. The New Zealand batsman all managed to get starts, but wickets fell at inopportune times.
Tim Southee played a key role for New Zealand, albeit in an unorthodox sense. After spending 30-minutes at the crease swinging at air, the fast bowler finally got his timing right and found the boundary on multiple occasions.
Insisting on bowling short to Southee, Pakistan set some strange fields to try and force a catch, and it was becoming an annoyance for the visitors. Pakistan finally got their man when Southee played through a slower delivery.
BJ Watling was something of an anchor for New Zealand. The experienced keeper-batsman played a traditional Test innings, leaving most deliveries, blocking others, and only choosing to attack at select few.
Sohail Kahn took 4 wickets and had been Pakistan’s best bowler by far.
Azhar Ali would have been disappointed to have let New Zealand off the hook following the loss of wickets, and his side were hurt by the amount of small partnerships that were forming.