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New Zealand make late advances in tussle for lead

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Tom Latham shelled two catches as the second Test in Karachi saw an otherwise tame third day’s play end with New Zealand bagging a flurry of wickets. Pakistan lost four wickets for 12 runs in a lower-order collapse in fading light, but Saud Shakeel was still undefeated on a solid 124 from 336 deliveries, his maiden Test century.

Eventually, the day ended with New Zealand 42 ahead, with Pakistan having only one wicket remaining on a flat Karachi surface that is yet to see any sort of deterioration. The hosts, too, have been happy to bide time and test the bowlers’ patience. They added only 70 runs in 31 overs in the final session, 34 of which came in the last ten overs of the day.

After tea, Shakeel faced 94 balls and scored only 23 runs. Overall, he let go of 66 out of the 111 deliveries that landed outside off from the pace bowlers in his entire innings. The only time he seemed to poke outside off and away from his body, Latham dropped a simple catch while going reverse-cupped at short point just after being brought in to stand exactly at that position. Shakeel was on 102 at the time.

But two overs later, Ish Sodhi joined in on the fun when he removed Naseem and Mir Hamza off successive balls, cleaning both of them up using the googly and the legspinner, respectively. But Shakeel and last man Abrar Ahmed saw off the day for Pakistan.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 449

Pakistan 407 for 9 (Shakeel 124*, Imam 83, Sarfaraz 78, Ajaz 3-88). Cricinfo


Thursday, January 5, 2023 – 01:00

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