In a frustrating day of cricket marred by rain and bad light, New Zealand bowled out Pakistan to maintain a lead of 55-runs in the Second Test.
Rain was the winner on day three as most of the afternoon was lost due to persistent heavy showers. Before the rain came, 22-year-old Babar Azam held Pakistan together with a well-played innings.
When play resumed, Azam was on track to score his maiden Test century in just his third outing for Pakistan. However, none of his teammates were able to stay out in the middle with him. It wasn’t for a lack of trying though, and in cruel fashion, Azam was stranded on 90 not-out.
Azam’s score was his highest so far at Test level, but he can thank Tim Southee for missing out on a century. New Zealand’s senior paceman continued on from his fine form on day two, snaring six wickets, ending with figures of 6/80.
The New Zealand batsman faced a single ball before the umpires ruled bad light in Hamilton, forcing the players from the field.
Babar Azam Leads Pakistan Out Of Deep Trouble Before Rain Arrives
Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed played aggressively to start the morning, taking particular interest in the bowling of Tim Southee. After doing so much damage on day two, Southee went for 18 runs to start the day as the Pakistan pair punished his short bowling.
Azam brought up his second Test half-century, continuing a fine beginning to his International career.
Neil Wagner took his third wicket, finding the edge of Ahmed’s bat to break the partnership.
Pakistan’s new batsman, Sohail Kahn was strong and worked his way to a solid 37, before being edging through to BJ Watling off the bowling of Southee. New Zealand’s senior paceman now had four wickets to his name,
While still trailing, Pakistan had put on two partnerships of over 50-runs over the course of the morning. They had recovered from a terrible start to their innings, but the wickets started to tumble before lunch.