New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test, Hamilton, 1st day

Determined Pakistan stifle hosts

The Bulletin by Siddhartha Talya

January 7, 2011

Comments: 31 | Text size: A | A

New Zealand 260 for 7 (McCullum 56, Guptill 50, Southee 56*) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Martin Guptill struggled to get going after lunch, New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test, Hamilton, 1st day, January 7, 2011
Martin Guptill, despite his fifty, had a forgettable day © AFP

Pakistan continued to punch above their weight in Tests under a new captain, earning the opening-day honours by stifling New Zealand on a pitch that has plenty of runs. Their advantage was a result of their perseverance as well as New Zealand's failure to build on a strong foundation laid by Brendon McCullum. Kane Williamson and Tim Southee, however, revived their team with a fighting stand, promising another tilt in the scales heading into the second day.

Pakistan's decision to bowl on a dry pitch appeared to be a mistake, and for good reason. There was virtually no swing, only slight movement off the track, and with the sun breaking out of an overcast sky, the prospects didn't seem bright for the three-pronged seam attack. McCullum's dominating approach, particularly after lunch, as he drove and pulled Umar Gul for sixes, temporarily served a chilling reminder of Pakistan's apparent misjudgment. But his dismissal, the subsequent stagnation against Abdur Rehman's left-arm spin and a stroke of luck vindicated Misbah-ul-Haq's decision at the toss.

New Zealand had themselves to blame for the slide. The batsmen didn't take advantage of the opportunities given, through umpiring errors and lapses in the field, and slipped during a shift in momentum brought about by Martin Guptill's self-imposed grind. Following the lunch break, Guptill played out five consecutive maidens against Rehman, who kept a tight line around middle and off. Despite the lack of turn, he was played respectfully with a straight bat that seemed devoid of intention to force the pace.

McCullum's wicket was the trigger. Since giving up wicketkeeping in Tests, he has enjoyed his role as opener and was on track for a big score this morning. He went after Gul in the first over, driving him over cover, and was particularly ruthless against the over-pitched deliveries, cracking Younis Khan and Wahab Riaz to the extra-cover boundary. He showed no inhibitions when attacking, even though Pakistan had plugged his favourite areas. They had a deep point for the cut, as well as two fielders square for the pull, and he beat both. He should have been out caught behind when he gloved Riaz in the 19th over but this carefree approach cost him his wicket after the break. He mowed Gul over midwicket and then slashed him straight to deep point the next ball.

It was then that Rehman stepped in. Attacking with a slip and two close-in catchers on either side of the pitch, he bowled quicker through the air, and only managed to extract spin when he flighted the ball. He didn't threaten but the nagging line sent Guptill into a shell that led to his dismissal.

Guptill had looked assured against pace, leaving deliveries in the channel outside off when there was a bit of nip, and kicked things off with a couple of straight drives. But his misery against Rehman - he scored 4 off 44 balls against him - ended when the bowler gave him his best possible chance to score; the full toss, however, was gifted as a catch to cover.

In the interim Taylor, who had a poor series in India, feathered one to the keeper as he tried to cut Rehman. Ryder, though, batted enterprisingly. Deliveries bowled on the pads were deftly glanced to the fine-leg boundary and when the opportunity came, Rehman was slog-swept for six. But a moment of ill luck robbed Ryder of his wicket; he was run-out backing up too far as Riaz deflected a straight drive onto the stumps. Despite his half-century, it was a day to forget for the man who played that drive, Guptill.

Williamson, playing his first Test at home, batted with the composure that guided him to a century on debut against India and rescued his team from 177 for 7. Barring a dropped catch at slip, Williamson was solid and seized any chance to play his favoured back-foot punch through cover and point. While watchful against Rehman, Williamson freed up against pace, the standout shot being a straight drive off Gul bowling with the new ball.

Williamson's assured presence was complemented by a determined innings from Southee, who seemed gifted with timing. Several of his boundaries were firm pushes in front of square, or were guided the ball behind point. His second half-century, which included three consecutive fours off Gul, underlined what was possible on the pitch and what the frontline batsmen had missed out on. The unbeaten 83-run stand prevented Pakistan's complete domination on a placid track.

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 19:53 GMT)

pakistan have to work out and get ride of the tailenders

Posted by BilalSaleem on (January 7, 2011, 18:52 GMT)

@nzcricket174, your totally right. it really sucks sometimes, the way that our teams always give us hope then crush it.

Posted by Desihungama on (January 7, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

Unbelievably shocking of Misbah for not giving Hafeez enough chances to bowl. In Cricketing terms - Hazeez is in his prime in both batting and bowling and he should have been asked to bowl instead of out of sorts Umar Gul. This will cost Pakistan.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 18:39 GMT)

There's a few batsmen that need to dropped and a chance given to other players in the domestic arena. We rely on our middle order and bowlers to get a good score. John Wright needs to shake it up because at the moment nothing has changed, so maybe it was never the coach in the first place.

Posted by Finn92 on (January 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT)

For all that his innings was good, McCullum cheated! This bulletin has failed to highlight the fact that with the score on 56/1 he got a huge nick off the glove down the leg side to Akmal and smiled sheepishly at the umpire when he realised he would be given not out, a true professional would have walked! On the other hand a few of the commentators have raised a few questions about the state of the ball so early in the game and I feel that maybe due to Pakistan's recent record in the news they are just trying to find another controversial issue. Taylor's form is getting worse every game and he could be facing some tough questions soon but Williamson looks a real gem, he could be class in a few years. Also Rehman did very well to say that I wouldn't call him a frontline spinner more a part-timer.

Posted by gothetaniwha on (January 7, 2011, 18:02 GMT)

can,t wait for tommy to bat today-3 more runs for his 100 ,try and nick it between the slips , and raise your bat to the crowd .

Posted by syedahmed91 on (January 7, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

The Test started at 5 pm for me wahaha I'm loving it. MORE CRICKET IN NZ PLEASE!

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

As a Pakistan fan I have to say this is the match that finally ended my willingness to endure. I would watch Pakistan cricket no matter what because there was always something exciting about it. It wasn't the result that mattered it was the raw venom of their pace bowlers that inspired me. Just like the Indians had the silky touch of Laxman we had the express pace of a Waqar or Mhd Amir. Even though the new guys are effective it is hardly exciting to see someone steam in to bowl at 120kph. The indian bowling attack is more exciting these days, which says it all. Even the eunuch like antics of Sreesanth seem to have more sway on my attention. Great results, such as the draw against SA meant nothing to me. Batting for long durations on a dead pitch is as exciting as a mandatory recital of the national anthem. As usual the best players (most exciting) are usually on the make, leaving behind a core of team players for whom i wish success but can't watch. Stands in NZ are empty to.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 17:27 GMT)

We NZ fans need to look on the bright side: If Southee and Williamson put on a good partnership, we can make a higher score than any Aussie ashes inning in our first!

Posted by Harris.a on (January 7, 2011, 17:23 GMT)


Posted by SSRajan on (January 7, 2011, 16:40 GMT)

Ross Taylor has always been considered NZ's best batsman and therefore, bats at 4. We need to ask the question if that position is justified. For far too long he has failed to deliver. Should Kane Williamson not be batting at the number 4 slot after a good start to his career? Agreed he is only new, but is it not important to give the lad confidence after a good start? Should a perennially underperforming Ross Taylor block his path up the ladder? In my opinion, it should be Guptill @3, Williamson@4, Ryder @5 and Ross Taylor@6. Hopefully his demotion in the batting order will hurt him enough to improve his game.

Posted by faizipak on (January 7, 2011, 16:02 GMT)

pakistan gona win this one . inshaAllah

Posted by cricketeria on (January 7, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

I'm just happy that -Pakistan are playing a test match against a good team -Bowlers are bowling well (no questionable no-balls :) ) -Younis Khan is in the team -Shoaib Malik is not in the team.

A fighting draw would be nice and a win would be just GREAT!

Posted by nzcricket174 on (January 7, 2011, 14:31 GMT)

No NZ performance is complete without the top order failing! And no Pakistani performance is complete without coming so close then some how screwing it up!

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

Once again Pakistani bowlers have conceded runs to the tail after being on top.However, 51 runs from 30 overs from Abdul Rehman was the highlight of the day.Umar Gul was again off target today.This man always helps the opposition to come out of the trouble except on rare occasions where he is unplayable - but when that happens no one knows or can plan. Tanveer was impressive today as well, his toe breaking yorker to gutsy Vettori was the ball of the day. Restricting NZ under 300 would be the initial target of Pakistan and then to come hard with solid batting by experienced Younis / Misbah on a strong foundation to be provided by Taufeeq/Hafeez who are yet to prove worthy of their selection with big knocks.

Posted by khurramsch on (January 7, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

once again poor decision by waqar & misbah to bowl 1st. it almost back fired whwn only 1 wicket fell in 1st session.good comeback from pak to 177/7 & then the famous act of pakistan as usual misfieldings.good recovery for NZ from 177/7 to 260/7.stil i think with paks battingany total in 4th inings will be dificult. pakistan need to wrap up the tail as soon as posible otherwise it will be out of hands.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 14:10 GMT)

@cricketcritic: jog on mate. The guys scored over a 1000 runs averaging over 60 in 9.5 tests since nov 2009. What more do you want?! If he's batting like that, who cares if he's dropped the gloves. I'd much rather have him happy opening playing his natural game and score a quick 50 than have some hack twaddle through to the occasional 30 (i.e Bell, How, Watling, Cumming even macIntosh to a degree. The list goes on) Sure he's got the ego, but as long as he keeps performing, and living up to his/our expectations then thats fine by me. Also when was the last time a nz opener scored a 200? Bryan Young in 96/97

This team has soo much potential, it's not funny. We just need the right leadership, which I think we now have with Wright. It's just gonna take some time. Look out in a year or two I reckon.

Posted by Darkferns on (January 7, 2011, 11:33 GMT)

There always has to be a slump in some part of the batting order for New Zealand. They rarely get a good partnership going. Williamson is maturing as a good batsman when the rest of the team is in a crisis. Southee is getting a good partnership going. Hope it will last for a long time. Good luck NZ! They really need a boost ahead of the world cup...

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 11:16 GMT)

@Cricketcritic McCullums Test performances over the last 12 months does warrant him as one the best going wordwide

Posted by zn264 on (January 7, 2011, 11:16 GMT)

I agree with the first comment, McCullum was trying to play his natural game but he does forget this isn't a 20/20. His shot selection was very poor, and even though he did slap a few a poor balls through the covers, it wasn't much of an innings. Southee, what a hero. Lets hope he bowls just as well! NZ should make 300 which won't be a bad total, but not a very good one looking at the flat deck their batting on.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (January 7, 2011, 10:21 GMT)

Nice job KW. Good luck hoping for some more runs from you tomorrow!

Posted by beeran on (January 7, 2011, 9:30 GMT)

misbahs decision could have backfired if not for the ruckless approch of kiwis in a pitch like this.again Iam sick of this dropped catches...,,,when will these guys master the basics of fielding?lets see what pak batsmen are upto tomarrow.

Posted by EC_Horohoro on (January 7, 2011, 9:04 GMT)

Everyone's saying the top order failed but if not for Ryder's unfortunate dismissal it would have been a good day. Great 50s to McCullum and Southee, gutsy effort to Guptill and more runs to come from Williamson. Man this team's got a lot of potential. I reckon this team will be quite successful in a few years, especially if Milne comes through.

Posted by aleem-basraa on (January 7, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

Its so unfair for Pakistanis to get up at 3am PST to watch a test cricket and then there are no highlights afterwards either. Thanks to cricinfo, one can read what happened in a very good manner atleast !

Posted by Philsy on (January 7, 2011, 7:16 GMT)

Good, mature rearguard effort from the young guys Williamson and Southee, something the senior players could learn from. Taylor-another poor effort, McCullum-rush to the head, Guptill-soft dismissal. Young-poor LBW decision and Ryder in particular were unlucky, but Vettori got out to a corker of a delivery. So a few of the wickets were just guys throwing their wicket away. Hopefully the new coach John Wright will be working with the players on the disciplines required for test cricket, given his own grit and graft in his playing days. The Pakistan team will regroup overnight, and come out firing tomorrow-and how often do we see a good partnership broken in the first session of play on a new morning. Not much batting to come after this-Martin a notorious bunny. It should be an interesting second day, anything can happen, Pakistan batsmen are no strangers to throwing their own wickets away, and Martin often makes up for his batting ineptitude with very good bowling.

Posted by sharprider on (January 7, 2011, 6:54 GMT)

There is nothing unusual about this below par performance from Pakistan after they had the Black Caps down at 177 for 7. Firstly, the misjudgement on the part of Misbah (and, of course, Waqar the coach as he failed to give specific direction to the Pakistan captain about fielding or batting upon winning the toss) which put the visitiors on the back foot from the beginning. Secondly, those costly fielding lapses and, finally, the decision to take the new ball towards the fag end of the day. The strategy should have been to pursue with the spinners (Rehman and Hafeez, who got just two overs to bowl) to contain or, more importantly, corner the set batsmen. This would have curbed the runs and given the pacemen incentive to go at the batsmen afresh tomorrow morning. Anyway, whatever has been achieved so far is not bad really, but it could have been a stronger position for Pakistan had they applied themselves appropriately with good judgement and planning.

Posted by gibbons on (January 7, 2011, 6:42 GMT)

We'll see what this is worth once we see how we bowl. Everyone said England was on top after Day 1 of the Perth test, but their batsmen folded like a cheap deckchair. Ugly and painful. New Zealand certainly seems sub-par, but if the tail can get us past 300 and then the bowlers fire, who knows.

Posted by Meety on (January 7, 2011, 6:26 GMT)

I think 300 is a good score on this pitch - remembering that Pakistan have a lot of batsmen that have not so sound techniques. Younis will be key on Day 2. Kane W looks like he may be the real deal.

Posted by Tanvir110 on (January 7, 2011, 6:04 GMT)

over all good performance by Pakistan.... good recovery by Kiwis... hope it will be a tough series.. good luck Pakistan...

Posted by MohammadNaveed_Ali on (January 7, 2011, 5:45 GMT)

this is been problem with pakistan team. After early breakthrough they always stuck at the tail ender....

Posted by cricketcritic on (January 7, 2011, 1:07 GMT)

McCullum slogs out for 56. Having watched the fantastic English batsmen in Oz i've come to realise this guy is pretty average, the best of a bad bunch and no more. The self comparisons with really good players like Gilchrist, Sehwag etc are cringeworthy. The numbers don't stack up. Pietersen used to be the walking ego, but McCullum has stolen the mantle. I'd take Prior, Hadden, Dhoni or Sangakarra any day, oops i forgot Baz had hung up the test keeping gloves...

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