New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test, Hamilton, 2nd day January 8, 2011

Shafiq, Misbah give Pakistan control

32

Pakistan 235 for 4 (Shafiq 74*, Misbah 50*) trail New Zealand 275 (Southee 56, Williamson 50, Ahmed 4-63) by 40 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan retained the advantage in the Hamilton Test with their batsmen edging out a testing battle against the New Zealand bowlers on a placid surface more deserving of a one-sided contest. Middle-order batsmen Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq batted patiently to rebuild Pakistan's reply to 275, which had lost track in the session before tea against a determined spell from the seamers. The pair provided stability to the innings and set the platform for a lead with an unbeaten 128-run stand that has eased the burden on the inexperienced line-up to follow.

The bowling was unthreatening, the conditions even more so with the virtual absence of swing and movement. Such a situation lent itself to a waiting game, one that New Zealand appeared to have an upper hand in after Taufeeq Umar and Younis Khan brought about their own downfall post lunch. Misbah and Shafiq played their own waiting game, assured that the pitch would have little role to play in their dismissals and aware that a bad ball wasn't too far away with New Zealand rotating their bowlers. Both were opportunistic, Shafiq more so than Misbah, helping offset any extended period of quiet with the occasional boundary and taking their team closer to the first-innings target.

Shafiq found the boundaries with ease on a quick outfield, clipping and driving the seamers through midwicket and fine leg and using his feet well against spin. He charged out to Daniel Vettori to loft him over mid-on, rocked on the back foot to punch Kane Williamson through the covers and stepped out to part-timer Martin Guptill to smote him over midwicket. Too often did the seamers bowl on his pads - his fifty was brought up with a tickle to fine leg - but he also scored through off, driving through point and cover.

Misbah's intention was to occupy the crease and he did that well with his solidity in defence and not feeling compelled to force the pace with a fluent partner at the other end. He's been Pakistan's in-form batsman in Tests with three half-centuries in four innings against South Africa, and a century in the warm-up match prior to this. His first major expansive shot, quite inexplicably, came towards the end of the day; a slog-sweep for six off Williamson. He then went a notch higher, reverse-sweeping the same bowler successive boundaries to reach his half-century just two overs before stumps. For the bulk, Misbah ceded floor to Shafiq and secured one end for Pakistan.

The pair built on the efforts of the Pakistan seamers, who brought about an early conclusion to New Zealand's innings on the second morning, and Taufeeq. Tim Southee and Williamson had set up frustrated Pakistan with a fighting stand to save New Zealand the embarrassment of being bowled out for under 200 on a track full of runs. But their resistance ended this morning when Pakistan's seamers made up for the lack of purchase from the pitch by ruffling the batsmen up with short deliveries.

When the time came to defend 275, New Zealand's bowlers were guilty of doling out freebies on the pads, Chris Martin particularly, and Taufeeq duly dispatched them. Martin was struck for three boundaries in an over, through midwicket, square leg and mid-on, while Brent Arnel paid for dropping too short, slashed and pulled to the ropes.

Post lunch, however, New Zealand bowled better. Lengths were rethought and both Martin and Arnel targeted the good-length area, and angled the ball in by bowling round the wicket to the left-hander. Taufeeq, who had dealt in boundaries, became more restrained and didn't help himself when he struggled to middle the ball when opportunities came his way. He lost a solid partner in Azhar Ali not too long after lunch, and that gave New Zealand an opening.

Taufeeq fought through his frustration by reaching his first half-century since 2003 by guiding Arnel to the third-man boundary, while at the other end Younis injected some urgency to the innings. Like Taufeeq had done before lunch, Younis went after Martin, opening the face to square-drive him thrice for fours and flicking him to the fine-leg boundary.

But just when it seemed Pakistan were emerging out of a difficult phase, they put themselves back into one. Taufeeq played a loose flick straight to midwicket, and Younis closed the face too early to spoon a catch back to the bowler. It was Arnel who dismissed the pair, leaving it to the captain Misbah and Shafiq to rebuild.

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 8, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    unlucky Shafiq.. Poor decision by Harper..

  • on January 8, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    asad shafiq rocks!!! played lot of classical shots awesome...

  • sharprider on January 8, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    Even though the overall position looks good for Pakistan, it is, undoubtedly, going to be them that will have to bat last in this Test. Sounds gloomy? NO. It should, however, be taken positively for both the sides that not all is lost. There are three full days of absorbing cricket left. The Pakistani batsmen, especially Hafeez and Younus, missed out the opportunity to play long innings so that the team could have possibly not been faced with the prospect of batting last. In fact, this is where the coaches and the captain should have put their feet down with clear cut directive for the batsmen to stay at the crease and not force the pace. Now, the new ball is due first thing on the 3rd morning, and New Zealand will gleefully grab this opportunity to take back the advantage in this Test. But, Good Luck to Pakistan.

  • khurramsch on January 8, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    @wajid: no dear its his 2nd match & 2nd inings. yes he played realy well today. pak did realy well to this point. at morning they wrap up tail very soon & with good bowling & then azahr & toufeq's partnership & then Asad & misbha were good. but stil long way to go. 1 thng pak batsman need to do is a bit more atience like misbah. both azahr & toufeq were reckless when there runs dried up.NZ did that after lunch & they start getting out. well 1 should give credit to these 2 batting sides as every body say this is flat pitch but 14 wickets fell in 2 days.so credit to both teams . both are known for their collapses.

  • on January 8, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    i realy want that pak win both test and ODI series... best off luck team pakistan

  • on January 8, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    good cricket played by green shirts. asad and misbah built a briliant partnership.. if pak take 100 lead in 1st innings than definetely pak will be favourite to win 1st test match against nz but we can't say about pak. pak are unpredictable team in the world so we can't say what should happen in the 1st test....

  • on January 8, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    2morw's morning session is imp

  • on January 8, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    rameez raja should take back his comment's on misbah

  • Abdul_Rehman_IX on January 8, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    Misbah is turning out to be a good captain and he has proved the critics againat him wrong well played guys...........

  • on January 8, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    great job asad and misbah! we have to rack up a sufficient lead because vettori may prove to be a problem on the last day. keep up the good work boys!!!

  • on January 8, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    unlucky Shafiq.. Poor decision by Harper..

  • on January 8, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    asad shafiq rocks!!! played lot of classical shots awesome...

  • sharprider on January 8, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    Even though the overall position looks good for Pakistan, it is, undoubtedly, going to be them that will have to bat last in this Test. Sounds gloomy? NO. It should, however, be taken positively for both the sides that not all is lost. There are three full days of absorbing cricket left. The Pakistani batsmen, especially Hafeez and Younus, missed out the opportunity to play long innings so that the team could have possibly not been faced with the prospect of batting last. In fact, this is where the coaches and the captain should have put their feet down with clear cut directive for the batsmen to stay at the crease and not force the pace. Now, the new ball is due first thing on the 3rd morning, and New Zealand will gleefully grab this opportunity to take back the advantage in this Test. But, Good Luck to Pakistan.

  • khurramsch on January 8, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    @wajid: no dear its his 2nd match & 2nd inings. yes he played realy well today. pak did realy well to this point. at morning they wrap up tail very soon & with good bowling & then azahr & toufeq's partnership & then Asad & misbha were good. but stil long way to go. 1 thng pak batsman need to do is a bit more atience like misbah. both azahr & toufeq were reckless when there runs dried up.NZ did that after lunch & they start getting out. well 1 should give credit to these 2 batting sides as every body say this is flat pitch but 14 wickets fell in 2 days.so credit to both teams . both are known for their collapses.

  • on January 8, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    i realy want that pak win both test and ODI series... best off luck team pakistan

  • on January 8, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    good cricket played by green shirts. asad and misbah built a briliant partnership.. if pak take 100 lead in 1st innings than definetely pak will be favourite to win 1st test match against nz but we can't say about pak. pak are unpredictable team in the world so we can't say what should happen in the 1st test....

  • on January 8, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    2morw's morning session is imp

  • on January 8, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    rameez raja should take back his comment's on misbah

  • Abdul_Rehman_IX on January 8, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    Misbah is turning out to be a good captain and he has proved the critics againat him wrong well played guys...........

  • on January 8, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    great job asad and misbah! we have to rack up a sufficient lead because vettori may prove to be a problem on the last day. keep up the good work boys!!!

  • on January 8, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    theres one person who batted today i would love to bowl at chris martin i wouldnt take hs wicket straight away i would toy with him god i love bowling at walking wickets

  • on January 8, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    actually its only his 2nd innings and 2nd test hense why he averages over 100

  • OT12 on January 8, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    I think only hafeez and Azhar were dismissed by a bowler, whereas both Taugeeq and Younis were just unlucky, pathetic bowling by NZ but well played Asad and Misbah

  • on January 8, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Our bowling attack is spineless. There's no way we are going to take 20 wickets in this match. Roll on the day Wagner becomes available.

  • K-amps on January 8, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    Guys... don't forget the past. Thats what the bad guys are banking on.

    Quite appreciation for efforts are good, but these guys are paid for thier performances, they are not doing us a favor by scoring. They are professionals.

    I just don't want any fans to get stabbed in the heart yet again...

  • on January 8, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    i wish they could win this test but seems really hard.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on January 8, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Everyone forecasts a shocking pakistani collapse tomorrow and for heavens sake why are they playing pointless test series when both the teams have club level cricketers pak batting is gully cricket and why no UDRS is it too costly for PCB ?or NZC pathetic state of cricket going on nobodys watching everyone wants india ,sa,eng

  • Shahzadhussan on January 8, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    Well come back Pakistan. I think Azhar Ali should be opening the innings, he is actually an opener. Umar Akmal should be brought in middle order who is the most talented batsman Pakistan discovered in last couple of years. It looks team selection is influenced by the ego of Intikhab Alam as always whenever he is around.

  • on January 8, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Awesome contest developing here , 2 teams battling for no 6 and no 7 test positions. Clash of the titans !!! as they call it. I am so looking forward to Pakistan finishing 1 series without involving the bookies or the local police

  • on January 8, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Interesting bulletin, numerous mentions of Martin and Arnel who did indeed look horribly impotent, but no mention of Southee's wonderful spell? He deserved 2 or 3 of the wickets to fall.

  • Hrazapak on January 8, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    Well done guyz ..............top work....Tomorrow they just need to start from where they left today and it will be the match in the bag for Pakistan ....Misbah is doing one hell of a job as captain.....He is leading from the front and is also educated. Education means it all...... and also due to his ability to lead from the front.... I still consider Younis Khan as a better captain but YK was unable to perform with the bat when he was the captain......Misbah is better in this aspect

  • poderdubdubdub on January 8, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    I must admit it was brittle at 107/4, pre lunch advantage of 66/1 was squandered by Azhar, Taufeeq and Yunus. When will we ever get the century scorers in Pakistan bating lineup? This team has everything MEDIOCRE about it.

  • theskeptic on January 8, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    there never really has been the slightest of doubt over the potential of pak team but its really nice to see them translating that potential into performance.....innings like these will build confidence and self belief into the team.....its really a treat for cricket lovers like me to see this wonderful cricketing nation put up some fight after all that has happened in past few months.....but for me selection of mohd. hafeez defies logic....he is just not good enough to be a test opener......he is half a bowler and half a batsman.........i think pakistan selectors should find a batsman with decent technique and temprament and give him an opportunity to bat up the order....persisting with players like hafeez and farhat will do no good!!

  • on January 8, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    It is always important for a team that the captain perrforms well,otherwise the team slumps.After Inzamam,Shoab Malik was named the captain when his selection itself foe tests was unjustified.This had effected Pakistan badly and couldnt win a test under his captaincy.Younis's captaincy was generally shadowed with mysterious conspiracies,however, his tripple century was the highlight of his very short tenure and later in SL his poor form led to a series lost. After him,Yousaf who missed a golden opportunity to be a hero when he AGAIN failed to score 35 needed runs to help his team in winning the test while chasing the modest 176 runs against Aus at Sydney and just handed over his wicket with a loose shot.Now Misbah has scored 4 consecutive 50s in his 5 inngs as a Captain therefore hasnt lost a test even though he was against World No.2 team with the most potent bowling attack.Likely , will see his team winning this test thereby favourite for winning the series.

  • rjmajid on January 8, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    This is 2nd inning for Asad Shafiq and he yet to prove his authority on more difficult pitches. anyway, he is far better batsman then Fawad Alam, Imran farhat and others tried out. I feel for amer sajjad, he is also a good batsman like asad shafiq. one chance should be given to him aswell.

  • on January 8, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Misbah is doing a good job, let's hope they can build up a good lead. they have a long way to go, let's hope this this is the end of Imran Farhat as an opener.

  • on January 8, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Finally, some positive cricket, and light of hope from Pakistani team ..... Hopefully, this turns into a big victory, & Pakistan can be head of the game coming into the 2nd test, Good Luck !

  • on January 8, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    Albeit all the controversies and off the field traumas, Pakistan still has enough firepower to perform well even in difficult conditions. Most importantly, they seem to find energetic, highly skillful young players. Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and even umar Akmal are going to be the backbone of Pakistan middle order during the next 7-10 years which are positive signs.

  • UmairTariq on January 8, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Pakistan need a lead of at least 200 in the first inning because they will be one batting last on the surface that goes through wear and tear. The team is known to collapse under pressure so they should try to seal the match in their first inning rather than taking it ahead.

  • on January 8, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    This is Asad Shafiq's 3rd test, and only the 3rd innings he has played. He now has 2 fifties to his name. I'm sure he will go a long way in Pakistan cricket. Taufeeq, Azhar and Younis also played positively, albeit a bit recklessly. Taufeeq was the pick of the 3 and played well.

    If Pakistan can notch up a sizeable lead tomorrow, the match could go Pakistan's way. Well done, way to go and best of luck!

  • Ahmed09 on January 8, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    Wasn't a good start by top order but a wonderful display of batting by both Asad and Misbah which may lead Pakistan to a victory. They did a right job which Pakistan needed at that stage, both of them had taken their time on crease and played a marvelous inning... Well done GUYS!!!

  • faizipak on January 8, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    great work by both the batsmen !! very well played

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  • faizipak on January 8, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    great work by both the batsmen !! very well played

  • Ahmed09 on January 8, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    Wasn't a good start by top order but a wonderful display of batting by both Asad and Misbah which may lead Pakistan to a victory. They did a right job which Pakistan needed at that stage, both of them had taken their time on crease and played a marvelous inning... Well done GUYS!!!

  • on January 8, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    This is Asad Shafiq's 3rd test, and only the 3rd innings he has played. He now has 2 fifties to his name. I'm sure he will go a long way in Pakistan cricket. Taufeeq, Azhar and Younis also played positively, albeit a bit recklessly. Taufeeq was the pick of the 3 and played well.

    If Pakistan can notch up a sizeable lead tomorrow, the match could go Pakistan's way. Well done, way to go and best of luck!

  • UmairTariq on January 8, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Pakistan need a lead of at least 200 in the first inning because they will be one batting last on the surface that goes through wear and tear. The team is known to collapse under pressure so they should try to seal the match in their first inning rather than taking it ahead.

  • on January 8, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    Albeit all the controversies and off the field traumas, Pakistan still has enough firepower to perform well even in difficult conditions. Most importantly, they seem to find energetic, highly skillful young players. Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and even umar Akmal are going to be the backbone of Pakistan middle order during the next 7-10 years which are positive signs.

  • on January 8, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Finally, some positive cricket, and light of hope from Pakistani team ..... Hopefully, this turns into a big victory, & Pakistan can be head of the game coming into the 2nd test, Good Luck !

  • on January 8, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Misbah is doing a good job, let's hope they can build up a good lead. they have a long way to go, let's hope this this is the end of Imran Farhat as an opener.

  • rjmajid on January 8, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    This is 2nd inning for Asad Shafiq and he yet to prove his authority on more difficult pitches. anyway, he is far better batsman then Fawad Alam, Imran farhat and others tried out. I feel for amer sajjad, he is also a good batsman like asad shafiq. one chance should be given to him aswell.

  • on January 8, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    It is always important for a team that the captain perrforms well,otherwise the team slumps.After Inzamam,Shoab Malik was named the captain when his selection itself foe tests was unjustified.This had effected Pakistan badly and couldnt win a test under his captaincy.Younis's captaincy was generally shadowed with mysterious conspiracies,however, his tripple century was the highlight of his very short tenure and later in SL his poor form led to a series lost. After him,Yousaf who missed a golden opportunity to be a hero when he AGAIN failed to score 35 needed runs to help his team in winning the test while chasing the modest 176 runs against Aus at Sydney and just handed over his wicket with a loose shot.Now Misbah has scored 4 consecutive 50s in his 5 inngs as a Captain therefore hasnt lost a test even though he was against World No.2 team with the most potent bowling attack.Likely , will see his team winning this test thereby favourite for winning the series.

  • theskeptic on January 8, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    there never really has been the slightest of doubt over the potential of pak team but its really nice to see them translating that potential into performance.....innings like these will build confidence and self belief into the team.....its really a treat for cricket lovers like me to see this wonderful cricketing nation put up some fight after all that has happened in past few months.....but for me selection of mohd. hafeez defies logic....he is just not good enough to be a test opener......he is half a bowler and half a batsman.........i think pakistan selectors should find a batsman with decent technique and temprament and give him an opportunity to bat up the order....persisting with players like hafeez and farhat will do no good!!