Pakistan trail New Zealand by 295 runs after a 104-run last-wicket partnership between Matt Henry and Ajaz Patel on the second day of the second Test. Matt Henry and Ajaz Patel’s century-plus last-wicket partnership has helped New Zealand seize control of the second Test against anxious hosts Pakistan.
Babar Azam Frustrated from his run out
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Henry batted at No.10 and scored a career-best unbeaten 68 off 81 balls, while No.11 Patel also scored a Test-best 35 as New Zealand reached 449 on day two. Both then landed early blows when Pakistan batted, reverting to their primary roles as bowlers. Pakistan battled to 3-154 at stumps on Tuesday after Babar Azam was also run out in a mix-up with Imam-ul-Haq. They are 295 runs behind. Imam was undefeated on 74, while Saud Shakeel was not out on 13 after taking almost an hour to earn his maiden run off his 42nd ball and surviving a missed catch.
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Fast bowler Henry forced a top edge of Abdullah Shafique’s (19) mistimed pull shot, and Patel had the aggressive Shan Masood (20 off 11 balls) caught at point. Babar, who led the test scoring record with 1,184 runs in 2022, was looking good with 24 off 41 balls, but Imam rejected the third run after moving a few steps out of his crease, and both batters ended up at the striker’s end. Shakeel may have been out before scoring if wicketkeeper Blundell hadn’t been able to hang onto an edge off Bracewell.
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I’m quite pleased with how we went about our task,” Henry stated. “The first priority was to score runs and attempt to advance. Then we put up a good effort with the ball.” Earlier, Abrar Ahmed (4-149) struck twice and Naseem Shah (3-71) dismissed Ish Sodhi at his overnight score of 11 to leave New Zealand on 6-309. Abrar bowled Blundell for 51 with a ball that swung away from the righthander and stayed a little low. Abrar stumped Tim Southee (10) before Patel hung in with Henry, who replaced Neil Wagner in New Zealand’s lone change from the lineup that drew the first Test.
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Henry hoisted Hasan and Naseem for massive sixes over midwicket and hit eight boundaries on his return to Test cricket. Patel was as effective against the spinners, hitting four boundaries as both showed tenacity until Abrar ended Pakistan’s agony when he caught Patel off a mistimed sweep just after lunch. “It should not have occurred, but sometimes the final wicket becomes difficult, tempting, and they score runs wherever your bowl. They didn’t strike out, but they batted well “Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan’s batting coach, agreed.
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