Martin misses a ton, Shafiq breaks a barrier
Plan of the day
New Zealand began the day with the hope that the overnight pair of Kane Williamson and Tim Southee would add at least a further 50 to their face-saving 83 run stand, but a brilliantly-executed plan by Pakistan meant that only 15 runs were scored on the second morning before the hosts were all out. Southee gloved a bouncer off the first delivery he faced and even Williamson fell to the short ball, having run out of patience after he had ducked ball after ball in the early exchange. Brent Arnel, too, eventually succumbed to the barrage of short deliveries and Pakistan had wrapped up that pesky New Zealand tail with some good old fashioned hit-the-deck fast bowling.
Let-down of the day
Seddon Park is arguably the scene of Chris Martin's greatest exploit as a Test batsman. His stunning fifth-day cover drive off Mitchell Johnson in March 2010 not only had the Hamilton crowd roaring with delight, but was the kind of cataclysmic event that was replayed relentlessly in newsreels all over the country. Martin began his innings on the second day with 97 Test runs and it would have only been fitting for him to reach that coveted 100-run milestone in his very next match at the venue. The ground was tense with anticipation as its hero loped to the crease, but alas! It was not to be. Martin faced just two deliveries before Arnel was dismissed at the other end, leaving him stranded on a valiant nought not out.
Catch of the day
New Zealand had a good day in the field, but Tim McIntosh's take in the slips was outstanding, even by the hosts' high standards. Mohammad Hafeez flashed at a wide one in the third delivery of the innings and the edge flew low to the ground, wide of second slip. McIntosh, though, dived quickly to his less preferred right side and snatched the chance inches off the turf.
Counterattack of the day
The hosts made a valuable breakthrough in the first over of the Pakistan innings, dismissing Hafeez who had been in good form thus far in the tour. But Taufeeq Umar, was intent on taking the attack to the opposition, as he drove, slashed and whipped the New Zealand attack to all parts. Azhar Ali joined in with a few boundaries of his own, and Pakistan breezed to 50 runs inside 11 overs, hitting 11 fours on their way, and the pressure was placed firmly back on the hosts.
The mid-innings choke of the day
Having notched up 35 runs from 33 deliveries, and having hit a number of commanding boundaries, Taufeeq looked in complete control at the crease. But three quarters of the way through the morning session, Taufeeq seemed to hit a wall. His next 19 runs came in 71 balls, as he suddenly looked out of sorts. Things didn't improve much for him after lunch, and he was dismissed soon after reaching his half-century.
Non-conformist of the day
In a Test where getting out in the fifties was the thing to do, Asad Shafiq bucked the trend by finishing 74 not out at the close of play. All five batsmen who had hit half-centuries in the match so far had been dismissed soon after, but Shafiq moved into the sixties in style, using his feet to Martin Guptill and lofting the ball over midwicket for four.
'Come hell, high water or malaria' performance of the day
Daniel Vettori was obviously not feeling his best when he took the field on day two -seeming completely sapped of energy and even hunching over to rest on his knees while the fast bowlers walked back to their marks. Halfway through the day, reports filtered in that he had been so ill that he had been tested for malaria (among other things) in the morning. Still, but for a 15-minute break towards the end of the day, Vettori remained on the field throughout, and perhaps even more incredibly, sent down 22 overs at an economy rate of 1.31. Superdan indeed!