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December 3, 2009
Daryl Tuffey has said he was nervous going into the second Test against Pakistan in Wellington, given that he last played a Test for New Zealand more than five years ago and the man he was replacing, Shane Bond, had played a pivotal role in giving his team a 1-0 lead in the series in Dunedin.
The conditions weren't ideal during Tuffey's comeback either. Wellington was cold, a wet outfield delayed the start until after lunch, and he was into the action right away after Daniel Vettori chose to bowl. But he tested the Pakistan batsmen and eventually ended the first day with 2 for 32.
"It was pretty cold out there. The wind wasn't too bad, it was just a little cold," Tuffey said after the day's play at the Basin Reserve. "I was a bit nervous going into the game, not having played a Test for a while. But once I got the first couple of spells out of the way, I was back into the game. I was feeling really happy after the first ten overs, having only gone for around eight runs."
Tuffey bowled five maidens in his first two spells; an impressive performance considering his last Test appearance was during the tour of England in 2004. He was overlooked for the first Test - Iain O'Brien was preferred - and was picked for this one only after Bond tore a stomach muscle.
"I was confident that I had good preparation and build-up," Tuffey said. "I've been bowling well for a few months now, and it's nice to have a few wickets behind you. Obviously it's disappointing to have a good mate, Shane Bond, out injured. I would have loved to have played a game with him."
When he returned for his third spell, Tuffey got hit for three streaky boundaries by Umar Akmal before threading an inswinger through the right-hander's bat-pad gap to hit the stumps. He then dismissed Shoaib Malik in his penultimate over - the loose drive to a full ball was caught at mid-off. Malik was the fifth wicket to fall and Pakistan lost Misbah-ul-Haq as well, struggling to 161 for 6 when bad light brought an early end to the day.
"They weren't going anywhere really. We had them tied down," Tuffey said of the start. "They needed a release at some point but it was us who got the release with three quick wickets. We thought we were in with a shot even when they were 60 for none. Dan said, just before Iain got the [first] wicket, if we get one, we're going to get two and three. It happened that way in the next over.
"We've seen a few shots from them [Pakistan batsmen] in the last Test, and even today, when they were losing wickets, they were playing the odd flamboyant shot outside off stump. We saw Misbah get out to a big hoick. But it's the way they play, and if we bowl enough balls in the right area, these guys will get out."
Despite ending the first day ahead of their opponents, New Zealand were aware that even 250 would be a competitive first-innings total. Tuffey said they were aiming for lower. "We want to bowl them out for under 200 tomorrow. That's our goal and we can do that by being disciplined. We're at the start of the tail now but you still have to bowl sensibly."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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