A glance at first day's play

Black Caps in command The first day clearly belonged to New Zealand. Pakistan despite winning the toss and electing to bat first on what looked like a good batting surface flopped big time. Pakistan batsmen were undone by their own recklessness and some tight New Zealand bowling. No one apart from opener Imran Farhat managed to get hold of the Kiwi bowlers as wickets kept on falling at regular intervals. By lunch Pakistan had lost their top five batsmen which was far from what they would have thought to have done after winning the toss and batting first. Almost all the batsmen in the top order fell to reckless shots one after the other. Ian OBrien playing his final Test was the chief destroyer as he took four scalps in his first spell to break the back of Pakistani batting. While wickets fell from the other end opener Imran Farhat continued with his doggedness from one end. Imran reached his half century off 74 balls soon after lunch. There was some late order resistance from the Pakistani batsmen who chipped in and helped Imran Farhat take Pakistans score to some respectability. Kamran Akmal (22), Mohammad Aamer (23) and Umar Gul (24) did their bit as Pakistan were all out for a sorry 223 on a good batting strip. Farhat carried his bat and was unbeaten on a polished 117 (169 balls, 14 fours and a six). He became only the fourth Pakistani to carry his bat in Test cricket. After a poor display with the bat Pakistan needed their bowlers to fire but that couldnt be the case either. The New Zealand openers Tim McIntosh and BJ Watling fought it out the final 19 overs of the day as New Zealand ended the day in a commanding position of 47-0 and trailing by 176 runs. On day two Pakistan faces a tough ask if they are to comeback in this Test. Bowlers will need to make early inroads. And when the batsmen get their chance they need to bat out of their skins. Things dont look pretty encouraging for Pakistan however cricket is a funny game and you can always comeback. Farhat shines as Pakistan flops Pakistan team needed to start off well in the deciding Test. However, despite winning the toss and electing to bat first, Pakistan could make little use of a good batting strip. Had it not been for the swashbuckling opener Imran Farhat Pakistan team would have been in serious trouble. The southpaw played a gritty knock as no other Pakistani batsmen managed to settle in and score well. Imran played in his trademark stylish way stroking the ball well in the gaps and gathering boundaries while the other Pakistani batsmen looked clueless as to how to score on this pitch. Imran got little support from the top order as Pakistan were reduced to 51-5 just before lunch. Keeper batsman Kamran Akmal gave Farhat some support as the two added 39 runs for the sixth wicket. Farhat completed his fifty off 74 balls. Once Kamran was gone Farhat found an able ally in Mohammad Aamer as the two gathered 69 runs for the 7th wicket as Pakistans 150 was also brought up. He reached his third Test century off 138 balls. But soon Pakistans innings was wrapped up at 223 with Imran Farhat being unbeaten on 117. His innings came off 169 balls and was laced with 14 fours and a six. In the process of his innings Imran carried his bat and became only the fourth Pakistani after Nazar Mohammad, Mudassar Nazar and Saeed Anwar to carry the bat in a Test innings. It was a superb effort by Imran who returned to international cricket just in this series. Now the good thing will be that Imran carries on with his fine efforts in the second innings and also on the upcoming tour of Australia and graduate to the next grade. Nabeel Sabir

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