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Sports

Watling increases pressure as New Zealand reach 388-7

  • Nicholls departure was strange as he was given out caught off the gloves from the bowling of Naseem Shah.
Published December 27, 2020

MOUNT MAUNGANUI: BJ Watling picked up where Kane Williamson left off as New Zealand reached 388 for seven at tea on day two of the first Test against Pakistan in Mount Maunganui.

Watling was on 59, his 19th Test half-century, with Tim Southee yet to score.

After a long, composed innings Williamson was out before lunch for 129 following a 133-run stand for the fourth wicket with Henry Nicholls.

As rain clouds hovered close to the ground where Watling scored a double century against England a year ago, the wicketkeeper was untroubled as he picked up ones and twos with the occasional boundary.

The first wicket to fall between lunch and tea was Mitchell Santner, who stood in a 261-run stand with Watling in the England Test and who looked set again as he crisply moved to 19.

But he could not resist slashing at a wide delivery from Faheem Ashraf and the ball was edged to Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps.

All-rounder Kyle Jamieson gave Mohammad Abbas his first wicket and Rizwan his third catch to be out just before tea for 32.

Although the pitch no longer offered frontline bowlers Shaheen Afridi and Abbas the same swing and seam they enjoyed on the first day, they continued to demand respect from the batsmen with testing lines.

However, it was the more expensive Naseem Shah and Yasir Shah along with Ashraf who picked up the early wickets on day two.

Nicholls departure was strange as he was given out caught off the gloves from the bowling of Naseem Shah.

He talked at length with Williamson before deciding not to review the decision and walked off.

Replays, however, showed the ball hit his forearm and did not touch either bat or glove.

When Yasir Shah came into the attack he picked up Williamson's wicket with his third ball which turned enough to find an edge for Haris Sohail to take a sharp, ground-level catch.

It was an uncharacteristic lapse from the New Zealand captain who, until then, had played a determined and risk-free innings for his 23rd Test century.

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