After New Zealand’s spinners made early inroads on the opening day of the first Test in Karachi on Monday, Pakistan’s Skipper Babar Azam produced a superb century to lead the country’s recovery to 224-4 at tea. This was after New Zealand’s spinners made early inroads.
Azam hit the spinner Michael Bracewell for a six towards mid-wicket to clinch his ninth Test century, revitalising Pakistan after they were struggling on 115-4 at lunch. Babar Azam century was the key to Pakistan’s success.
Babar Azam, who elected to bat after winning the toss and batting first, remained undefeated on 119 with the recently recalled Sarfaraz Ahmed batting with him on 43. Together, they accumulated 114 runs for an unbroken partnership at the fifth wicket.
In addition, Azam made 11 shots to the boundary, while Sarfaraz, who was participating in his first Test match since January 2019, got seven hits to the rope.
Daryl Mitchell failed to make a regulation catch at slip off Bracewell, and as a result, New Zealand will come to regret the fact that they let Azam off the hook when he was only on 12.
At the score of 54, the tourists were unable to run out Azam because Devon Conway missed the stumps while the Pakistani captain was still some distance away from his crease.
Spinners from New Zealand were dominant in the first session. Bracewell dismissed Shan Masood for three and Imam-ul-Haq for 24, while Patel took the early wicket of Abdullah Shafique for seven. Patel also took the early wicket of Imam-ul-Haq.
The tourists had a fruitful morning as they competed in their first Test series in Pakistan since 2002. Tim Southee, a quick bowler, removed Saud Shakeel for 22 in the penultimate over before lunch. This brought the session to a victorious conclusion for the visitors.
Because the surface at National Stadium took turn from the very beginning of the match, it appeared like New Zealand’s plan to play with three spinners was correct. After only four overs had been bowled, Patel was brought in to continue the bowling.
It was his third ball, and he twisted it across Shafique, who was playing forward. This allowed wicketkeeper Tom Blundell to stump Shafique. The next batter, Masood, was dismissed by Bracewell in his second over, and then Haq was caught at mid-off after miscuing a drive off of Bracewell.
In the whole history of test cricket, this is the first time that both of the first two wickets to fall in an innings were taken by stumping.
In the wake of Pakistan’s first-ever 3-0 home whitewash at the hands of England the previous week, the team has recalled Sarfaraz, Mir Hamza, and Haq to the lineup.