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The Wisden Bulletin by Lynn McConnell
December 20, 2003
Close Pakistan 118 for 2 (Hameed 36*, Youhana 24*) trail New Zealand563 (Fleming 192, Vettori 137*, Shabbir 5-117) by 445 runs
Who said No. 9s can't bat? Daniel Vettori's 137 not out was an innings of the highest quality
Pakistan set about wiping off New Zealand's 563 in determined fashion on the second day of the first Test at Hamilton, scoring 118 for 2 in the 28 overs that they batted. Yousuf Youhana, who scored a double-century on his last visit to New Zealand, was not out on 24, while Yasir Hameed was 36 not out.
It was a day dominated by New Zealand's batting. Starting the day at 295 for 6, they added another 268 runs. The lower order did what the middle order hadn't done - they provided support. First, to Stephen Fleming, who made a majestic 192. And then, to Daniel Vettori, who scored his maiden Test century and ended unbeaten on 137. New Zealand's 563 was their highest score against Pakistan.
Fleming's batting in the morning showcased the same instinct to dominate as on the first day. He counter-attacked superbly in an effort to achieve his stated intent of taking New Zealand past 400, and began by smashing Mohammad Sami out of the attack, hitting him for three fours in his third over of the day.
Robbie Hart (10) was the only batsman to be out in the first session, in which 128 runs were scored. He had tried to guide a rising ball from Shabbir Ahmed behind square leg, but was beaten by both pace and bounce, and could only lob it up to short leg, where Youhana took an easy catch (314 for 7).
As Fleming passed his previous highest score in New Zealand, of 129, Vettori started to open out. Their 50 partnership took 43 minutes and Vettori's half-century took 74 balls. They scored 72 runs in the hour.
Stephen Fleming: yet another monumental innings
After lunch, Fleming had a double-century in his sights but failed to connect with a ball from Umar Gul and was trapped lbw after 479 minutes and 332 balls at the crease (439 for 8). The eighth wicket stand of 125 runs broke the New Zealand record against Pakistan - the previous best was 100, set by Bryan Yuile and Dayle Hadlee in 1969.
Meanwhile, Vettori rode his luck. In one Shabbir Ahmed over, he offered three hard chances, and was reprieved each time. He moved past his previous highest Test score of 90 and then played a lovely cover-drive for four off the first ball after the afternoon drinks break to bring up his century, off 132 balls.
Daryl Tuffey also achieved his highest Test score of 35 during another New Zealand record partnership against Pakistan - of 99. Vettori added another 25 with Ian Butler before Shabbir had Butler caught at square leg. With figures of 5 for 117, he was clearly the best of the Pakistan bowlers.
The quality of the pitch was obvious when Pakistan batted. They had scored 47 by the time they lost their first wicket in the eighth over. Butler proved expensive and Fleming called Jacob Oram into the attack in the eighth over. Oram had immediate success, when Imran Farhat edged a ball moving across him to Hart, New Zealand's wicketkeeper.
Then, eight runs later, Taufeeq Umar attempted a hook to a ball from Tuffey that arrived sooner than he expected, and he chipped a shot to mid-on where Butler held on easily. Youhana and Yasir then took a trouble-free route to stumps to lay the foundation for a full-scale assault on New Zealand's total tomorrow.
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