Imam-ul-Haq, Sarfaraz Ahmed push Pakistan ahead after New Zealand attacks twice

Imam-ul-Haq, Sarfaraz Ahmed push Pakistan ahead after New Zealand attacks twice

Lunch Pakistan 438 and 181 for 4 (Imam 81*, Sarfaraz 49*, Bracewell 2-40, Sodhi 2-47) advantage New Zealand 612 for December 9 for 7 runs

Imam-ul-Haq and Sarfaraz Ahmed pushed Pakistan into the lead with their unbroken 81-run partnership for the fifth wicket on the last morning of the first Test in Karachi. At one point the hosts were 100 for 4, still 74 in arrears, but Imam and Sarfaraz revived the innings and brought them to 181 for 4 by lunch.
Earlier, Tim Southee created a chance in the second over of the day when Imam handled a full ball and earned an outside edge. But there was no slip in place, and the resulting cap brought Imam to his half century. But it didn’t take long for New Zealand to attack. In the next over, Michael Bracewell dismissed night watchman Nauman Ali lbw.
Babar Azam came on in the No. 5 and, after defending the first few instalments, made the most of it when Bracewell erred down the shorter side. Babar swung back and pulled the wheel to the square leg limit twice in 12 races. That prompted Southee to bring in Ish Sodhi, and the legpinner struck with his first ball this morning, catching Babar lbw with a googly. The Pakistani captain opted to check, but it proved useless.

Getting ahead of Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz took the attack route. After picking up two consecutive fours from Southee, he hit three boundaries in Ajaz Patel’s first over of the day. The first two came via the sweeping shot, and as Ajaz switched over the wicket, Sarfaraz leapt to the leg side and sliced ​​through the hedges to move to 25 from 15 balls.

But after that, Ajaz started throwing well with his outside leg, and Sarfaraz seemed happy to push him away, aside from the occasional reverse sweep.

Sodhi, however, was having the ruffo turned off the left-hand batter’s stump. Imam addressed that by going down the track and mostly smothering the turn. There was one occasion where he tried to go hard and got an inside edge, but luckily for him, the ball missed his leg stump.

With Partnership having crossed 50, Neil Wagner was brought into attack for the first time at 57 of the inning. He started around the wicket, and even made Tom Blundell stand up to the stumps for a spin, but Imam and Sarfaraz joined him for lunch.