New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington, 4th day January 18, 2011

Fleeting rain, and a curious dismissal

Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the Wellington Test between New Zealand and Pakistan

Riposte of the day
Brendon McCullum had been tied down for an uncharacteristically long period by Abdur Rehman, when the bowler induced a false shot by shortening the length a touch. The resultant edge flew to the fielder at silly mid-off who shelled the straightforward chance, but McCullum's response to being beaten was emphatic. He shimmied down the pitch for Rehman's next ball and drilled him over long-off for six in utterly commanding fashion.

Shot of the day
Few batsmen play the straight drive as well as Martin Guptill and today's gorgeous hit in the penultimate over before lunch was a perfect example. The slightly over-pitched delivery was met powerfully by Guptill's impeccably straight bat, and neither the batsman nor the fielder at mid-on moved a muscle as the ball sped to the fence.

False start of the day
Rain had been predicted for the afternoon session on day four, but when it eventually arrived after tea, the bad weather was short lived. Within 25 minutes of the initial interruption, the covers had been removed, the stumps had been re-erected and the players were taking their positions in the outfield when the rain suddenly returned with a vengeance. Off they all went again, and once more, the rain eased almost as quickly as it began. The players barely had time for a sit-down before they were walking out again.

Quizzical dismissal of the day
The rain delay obviously didn't agree with Jesse Ryder because he played perhaps the worst shot of the series to the first ball after the break. Mohammad Hafeez bowled an innocuous straighter delivery, which pitched in line with off stump, and Ryder incredibly chose to leave it. The ball turned away a touch and struck the top of off stump, leaving a dumbfounded Ryder to trudge back to the pavilion without having made a notable contribution in the series.

Over of the day
Abdur Rehman may have had a good day, bowling marathon spells into the wind, but it was Hafeez who produced the most testing over of spin from the Scoreboard End. The first ball of Hafeez's fifth over spat back viciously from way outside off stump, to strike Ross Taylor just outside the line, and after two more good deliveries, Taylor managed to get off strike with a single. Hafeez then produced another beauty that beat both batsman and keeper, as the ball bit the surface and bounced directly over off stump, giving away two byes. He then finished the over with a fuller delivery that turned more than expected and Franklin edged it to Younis Khan at slip.

Wild slog of the day
With Umar Gul in fine reverse-swinging form late in the evening and Chris Martin at the other end, Tim Southee had clearly decided the best way to advance New Zealand's cause was to swing lustily at everything that came his way. When Martin turned the strike over mid-way through a Gul over, Southee backed away as the bowler charged in, looking to free his arms through the offside. Not missing a beat, Gul banged it in short, attempting to hurry the batsman. Southee decided to go for it anyway, and the resultant swipe, part baseball hit, part swing of an executioner's broadsword, sent the ball sailing over the fine-leg boundary.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ahmed on January 18, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    In the first session, NZ played really well. It couldn't have been better. Aggressive, careful and century opening stand! Perhaps Pakistan also contributed to NZ start of the day by lame bowling and fielding. Anyway, best wishes to Team Pakistan!

  • Mohammad on January 18, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA............................................................... Yeah !!!! no doubt presuure on Pak batsman .......................................... It would be a real test for the Pak batsman on the final day ......................... NZ looks on the upper hand -------------------------------------------------------------- Anyway all athe best for the Pak !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aziz on January 18, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    Pakistan decided to attack too late. If I were a thinking captian, I would have eased off after tea and let New Zealand waste overs without scoring runs. That way, New Zealand would not declare, neither would they be out, hence wasting enough overs to extract a draw.

    Ofcrouse my first choice would have been to attack and get them out. I am just talking about Pakistan's stragegy they adoped after tea on day 4

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    How come all the items listed here are saying good stuff about NZL and nothing good about Pakistanis, except that Hafeez bowled the best over instead of the regular bowlers. Strange, isn't it Andrew?

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Why no mention of Adnan Akmal's 8 catches in the match??? Isn't that a feat in it's own right? Very one sided bulletins and comments as if Pakistan are playing Australia and not New Zealand. All praise for the New Zealanders and only criticism for the Pakistanis. Cricinfo you got to start being neutral.

  • Yasser on January 18, 2011, 14:38 GMT

    The openers should try to attack in the morning session and see if they can put on 50 or so without losing a wicket. If wickets fall early, then I am sure the shutters will come down early and Pakistan will try to defend for the day. It should be interesting as panic is never too far away when Pakistan are batting but they have good players in Azhar, Younis, Misbah and Shafiq so hopefully can win or draw tomorrow...

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2011, 14:36 GMT

    @faisal_khan_1, I can't help but agree. Pakistan seems to have a tremendous supply of quality pace and spin bowlers, but the allegations facing 2 of their best have reduced the impact of their attack tremendously. Still though, they do have a reasonable side right now, Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul are both very good bowlers. I'm a kiwi and we'd love to have either of those two in our side, especially now that Shane Bond is gone for good. Sadly we have to wait a while longer before Neil Wagner, Hamish Bennett and Adam Milne are in our side properly. It is the first time I can think of that we have 3 young pace bowlers who can each hit 145km/h or more, so should be exciting times when they are ready!!

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Pressure situation for sure. We have known since the 70's that Pakistanis are not good chasers. I hope they last the day. Lot will depend on the openers and then Misbah and Younis, I wish we had Yousuf there somewhere in the middle. Agood time for the young batsmento cement their places. My sugegstion, play normal cricket, do not take undue pressure as while defending continuously you create more pressure and a minor mistake can cost you your wicket. Best of luck Pakistan, go for the win and not for a draw. However, with Intikhab there, I think they will go for the draw and lose the match.

  • Steven on January 18, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    Here we go NZ, time to take it to the Pakastan team and win the match! I think the pressure is pretty evenly spread over both teams! We need a win, and you need a series...should be great cricket! Watch Dan the man rip through the top order!

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Gul clearly the stand-out bowler and the main difference between the two sides. Dangerous with both the old and new ball, he is the only true international class player (on current form that is)

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