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  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Williamson leads NZ fightback

  • Published at 08:57 am December 26th, 2020
Williamson
New Zealand's Kane Williamson plays a backfoot punch during day one of their Boxing Day Test against Pakistan in Mount Maunganui Saturday

Williamson was on 94 with Nicholls on 42 as NZ battled for much of the day against Pakistan’s disciplined and accurate bowling

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was within sight of his 23rd Test century after he rebuilt the home side’s innings and guided them to a solid 222/3 at the end of the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan in Mount Maunganui Saturday.

Williamson, who missed the last Test against West Indies as he awaited the birth of his first child, was on 94 at Bay Oval with Henry Nichols on 42 as New Zealand battled for much of the day against Pakistan’s disciplined and accurate bowling attack.

The 30-year old Williamson combined with Ross Taylor (70) in a 120-run partnership to resurrect the innings after Shaheen Shah Afridi vindicated stand-in captain Mohammad Rizwan’s decision to bowl first on the grassy wicket.

Shaheen snapped up Tom Latham (four) and Tom Blundell (five) to reduce the host to 13/2 inside the first 45 minutes.

New Zealand’s batsmen were unable to get into their comfort zone as the bowlers constantly challenged them, inducing false shots and edges that flew agonizingly close to fielders.

Mohammad Rizwan celebrated his elevation to the Pakistan Test captaincy in style Tuesday, smashing a career-best 89 to stop New Zealand claiming a series sweep in the third Twenty20 in Napier.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 24 December 2020

Mohammad Abbas ended with figure of 0/25 from 21 overs.

Williamson and Taylor, who became New Zealand’s most capped player Saturday, were able to take their side through to 55 for two at lunch then dominated the middle session.

Taylor marked his 438th international match across all three formats with his 34th Test half century when he swept legspinner Yasir Shah fine for his eighth boundary.

But just as he was starting to accelerate the run rate after tea and looking well set for his 20th Test century, the veteran became Shaheen’s third wicket.

Williamson and Nicholls, who was dropped on six at fine leg, then drove the side through to stumps with their unbroken 89-run partnership, although the captain had a slice of luck when dropped on 86 by Haris Sohail in the slips off Shaheen.

1ST TEST, DAY 1

NEW ZEALAND 222/3 in 87 overs (Williamson 94*, Taylor 70) v PAKISTAN

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