The much anticipated Boxing Day Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan started on Saturday with the tourists winning the toss and deciding to bowl first. Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi justified his captain’s decision by giving NZ early blows. He dismissed both the Kiwi openers Tom Latham (4) and Tom Blundell (5), reducing the hosts to 13/2.
However, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor turned around things with their defensive batting approach. The duo formed a game-changing 120-run partnership for the third wicket to frustrate Pakistan bowlers.
Taylor got out after a superb knock of 70 runs, but Pakistan failed to create pressure on the home team as Henry Nicholls joined hands with his skipper Williamson to end the Day 1 without losing a wicket anymore.
Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah did bowl well but could not pick any wicket. No wonder he looked angry and unhappy. A glimpse of such was seen in the 77th over the innings when the leg-spinner bowled a good delivery that beat Nicholls.
Mohammad Rizwan collected the ball behind the wickets; however, there was no edge. This annoyed Yasir, and he was caught shouting, “Out ho jaa bhoo*** ke.” (Get out man).
Here’s the video:
Williamson drives Black Caps to 222/3 on Day 1
New Zealand are in a strong position after losing a couple of early wickets. Apart from Taylor, Williamson yet again looked in supreme touch. He played some attractive shots and completed his 33rd half-century. With that Williamson equalled former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming’s record of most fifty-plus scores in Test cricket for the Black Caps.
Most fifty-plus scores for New Zealand:
- 55 – Kane Williamson (82 matches)*
- 55 – Stephen Fleming (111 matches)
- 53 – Ross Taylor (104 matches)
At stumps, Williamson was unbeaten on 94 while Nicholls was not out on 42 as the Kiwis reached 222/3.