New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington, 1st day

Hats go flying and Rehman's effort

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the first day of the second Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in Wellington

Andrew Fernando at Basin Reserve

January 15, 2011

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Wahab Riaz steams in against the wind, New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington, 1st day, January 15, 2011
Wahab Riaz put in the fielding effort of the day while trying to retrieve his cap which was blown towards the boundary by the wind © Getty Images
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Casual boundary of the day
At 20, Kane Williamson is barely out of high school and his habit of chewing gum at the crease rarely allows you to forget the fact. He took his boyish practice to a whole new level in the first session though, as he nonchalantly blew a large bubble during Younis Khan's delivery stride, and executed a perfect square drive off the back foot just as the bubble popped around his lips. Just no respect for their elders, these kids today!

Reluctant victim of the day
Williamson's edge off Umar Gul midway through the morning was obvious from beyond the boundary, but the batsman wanted to make absolutely sure umpire Daryl Harper had seen it before trudging off. The Pakistan fielders began celebrating almost as soon as Adnan Akmal had pouched the chance, but Williamson stood his ground, hoping against hope that Harper hadn't noticed the sizeable deflection off his bat. The fielders began to look back at Harper quizzically, and the umpire eventually raised his finger, then brought it down again with a flash, almost as if to say "you should have walked mate." At least you couldn't blame Williamson of not valuing his wicket.

Hat retrieval of the day
When Wahab Riaz's cap was blown towards the boundary in the middle of an Abdur Rehman over, he put in what was perhaps the fielding effort of the day. Riaz set off like lightning from point, bounding after his runaway headgear with intensity and purpose, before sliding to haul it in just before it reached the ropes. If only Pakistan could more often display the same level of skill and commitment when fielding a cricket ball.

Gust of the day
Tanvir Ahmed was running into bowl the final delivery of his fourteenth over when a particularly ferocious gust of wind buffeted through the Basin Reserve. The squall swept Tanvir off course and sent him veering towards point, while Taufeeq Umar at gully had his hat blasted to the boundary within a matter of seconds. Thankfully, one of the security guards on the perimeter ran it down and returned it to the fielder at the end of the over.

Workhorse of the day
Bowling from the Scoreboard End at the Basin Reserve ranks among the most unenviable jobs in world cricket due to the strength of the wind often blowing in the opposite direction. So stiff were today's northwesterlies, that early in the evening session they were clocked at nearly 85 kmh. Abdur Rehman however, showed how spinners should bowl at one of the most difficult venues in the world. He delivered 24 overs of flat left-arm spin into the wind, and gave his teammates the best chance of picking up wickets from the other end as he allowed New Zealand just two runs an over. He even picked up a wicket during his second spell before swapping ends towards the end of the day - this time, not afraid to flight the ball, in order to exploit the drift on offer.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

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