New Zealand close to victory on day 4, 1st test vs. Pakistan
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) Pakistan's long record of success in test series in New Zealand was under threat Sunday as the hosts moved within 47 runs of victory in the first test match by lunch on the fourth day.
After building a 67-run lead in a low-scoring match, New Zealand dismissed Pakistan for 171 in in its second innings to leave itself a chase for 105 runs for a 1-0 lead in the two-test series.
Pakistan hasn't loss a test series in New Zealand since 1985, winning five and drawing three of the series played between the teams in that period.
New Zealand put itself in a strong position to end the streak when it went to lunch at 58-1, with Jeet Raval 16 not out and captain Kane Williamson 31 not out. The hosts needed only 47 runs with nine wickets standing to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The second test begins at Hamilton on Friday.
Pakistan began the fourth day on the back foot after its second batting failure of a test shortened by the loss of the entire first day to rain.
When New Zealand won the toss on Friday, Pakistan was forced to bat first on a lively pitch and was dismissed for 133 in 55.5 overs. All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme took 6-41 – the best innings bowling figures by a New Zealander on debut.
New Zealand also struggled in conditions that favored swing bowling and managed only 200 runs in its first innings, opening a 67-run lead without fully taking control of the match. Reval, another player making his New Zealand debut, was the top scorer with 55 – the only half-century of the match so far.
Pakistan's hopes of saving the match faded when its batsmen failed again on Saturday, slipping to 129-7 by stumps, a lead of only 62. Trent Boult and Neil Wagner took three wickets each to remove the Pakistan top order.
Overnight batsmen Sohail Khan and Asad Shafiq provided some stubborn early resistance Sunday in a partnership that added 53 for the eighth wicket. Sohail batted boldly, scoring 49 from 39 balls with five fours and a six. But when he was out at 158-8 and Shafiq followed for 17 at 166-9, the innings quickly ended.
Mohammad Amir kept Pakistan's hopes alive when he dismissed Tom Latham for 9 in the ninth over, leaving New Zealand 19-1. But Williamson and Raval saw New Zealand to the lunch break without further loss.