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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pakistan Vs New Zealand Ist Test

Pakistan retained the advantage in the Hamilton Test with their batsmen edging out a testing battle against the New Zealand bowlers on a placid surface more deserving of a one-sided contest. Middle-order batsmen Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq batted patiently to rebuild Pakistan's reply to 275, which had lost track in the session before tea against a determined spell from the seamers. The pair provided stability to the innings and set the platform for a lead with an unbeaten 128-run stand that has eased the burden on the inexperienced line-up to follow.

The bowling was unthreatening, the conditions even more so with the virtual absence of swing and movement. Such a situation lent itself to a waiting game, one that New Zealand appeared to have an upper hand in after Taufeeq Umar and Younis Khan brought about their own downfall post lunch. Misbah and Shafiq played their own waiting game, assured that the pitch would have little role to play in their dismissals and aware that a bad ball wasn't too far away with New Zealand rotating their bowlers. Both were opportunistic, Shafiq more so than Misbah, helping offset any extended period of quiet with the occasional boundary and taking their team closer to the first-innings target.

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