New Zealand dominate Day one
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Basin Reserve, Wellington
Scorecard:New Zealand v Pakistan
Player:DL Vettori, Umar Akmal
Event:Pakistan in New Zealand 2009/10

DateLine: 3rd December 2009


The start of the second Test between New Zealand and Pakistan was delayed due to wet outfield. The Test – 50th Test at the venue – only got underway after lunch. Given the conditions it was a no-brainer as the captain who won the toss will definitely bowl first and Vettori did just that. The fragile Pakistani batting line-up was also another factor so that his bowlers could have a crack at the opposition. The Pakistani team management made three changes while New Zealand was forced to make a change. Khurram Manzoor, Fawad Alam and surprisingly Saeed Ajmal gave way to Salman Butt, Misbah-ul-Haq and Danish Kaneria while for the Kiwis Tuffey came in for the injured Bond.


Play finally got underway in the second session of the match and the session provided an excellent passage of play. The Pakistani team management decided to go for the combination of Butt and Farhat at the top of the order and the pair though did not blaze away showed lot of heart and application. Martin and Tuffey found some swing early on and were spot on giving literally nothing to the opening pair. The opening bowlers produced maiden after maiden bowling full length but the opening duo decided to ignore those offerings. As time passed the pair began to look at ease and they began to get the boundaries to ease some pressure. The pair negotiated the faster men forcing Vettori to come on in the 19th over. The pair went onto raise the 50 run association in the 24th over and went on with their partnership till the 33rd over before O’Brien intervened to end the obdurate stand. The pair added 60 in 32.2 overs before Butt (29) played an ambitious pull shot of O’Brien which landed in the palms of Tuffey at mid-on. In the absence and reluctance of many senior batsmen to bat higher up the order last match hero Umar Akmal was promoted up the order and the youngster looked quite lost in the middle.


O’Brien was the chief tormentor for the youngster as he generated pace and swing to beat the bat of an uncertain Umar constantly prompting Waqar Younis on television to feel for the unfortunate youngster. Vettori then proceeded to remove Farhat (32) via a sharp catch from Taylor and after a couple of balls trapped an immobile Yousuf (0) leg-before to an arm ball. O’Brien continued to torment Umar and the talented right-hander after being put in a strait-jacket finally broke free when he swung Vettori over deep midwicket for a massive six. After tea Umar looked much more in control of the situation as he counter-attacked. Boundaries flew off the bat of the youngster as he cut and drove with much more confidence as he collected boundaries on either side of the wicket. The youngster raced to 46 before Tuffey cleaned him up with an excellent inswinger thus ending an innings that once again showcased the right-hander’s prodigious talent and also his unflappable temperament. Umar and Misbah added 53 in 9.4 overs to give some direction to the Pakistani innings. Malik (9) played one authoritative drive through covers and one ferocious cut through point but he did not last long when drove uppishly to Vettori at mid-off.


Misbah battled hard for his 21 before he ran out of patience. The right-hander tried to heave Vettori over midwicket with a slog-sweep but he missed the arm ball to be hit on the back-foot and the umpire upheld the appeal. Misbah looked unhappy with the decision due to reasons known to him and challenged the decision. The replays showed that Misbah was gone for all money and the TV umpire concurred with the on-field umpire to send him back. The Kiwis were well into the tail of the Pakistani batting line-up when the umpires offered the light to the batsmen which they took. The umpires waited for the light to improve but unfortunately it did not and the umpires called stumps.


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