Matt Henry and Ajaz Patel’s last-wicket century stand gave New Zealand a commanding total of 449 to the frustration of Pakistan on the second day of the second test on Tuesday.
Henry made a career-best unbeaten 68 off 81 balls and Patel also notched his test-best of 35 as they added 104 for the 10th wicket after Pakistan looked to have wrapped up the visitors well inside 350 runs.
Fast bowler Henry, playing his first test since last June, then induced a top-edge of Abdullah Shafique’s (19) mistimed pull shot and Patel got rid of Shan Masood (20) to leave Pakistan in trouble at 62-2 at tea.
Imam-ul-Haq was not out on 17 while captain Babar Azam was unbeaten on 4, getting off the mark with a backfoot driven boundary against Michael Bracewell in the last over before tea.
Abrar Ahmed (4-149) struck twice and Naseem Shah (3-71) clean bowled Ish Sodhi at his overnight score of 11 to curtail New Zealand at 345-9 after it resumed on 309-6.
But Henry and Patel stretched New Zealand in a dominating aggressive century-stand against both pace and spin.
Henry and Ajaz defied Pakistan for 1 1/2 hours as Pakistan couldn’t wrap up New Zealand’s innings despite using all five of its bowling options against the last-wicket pair as they reached 433-9 by lunch. Abrar finally ended Pakistan’s frustration when he had Patel caught of a mistimed sweep soon after lunch.
Earlier, Blundell, 30 overnight, went on to complete his fifty off 103 balls with six fours before he was clean bowled for 51 by Abrar off a delivery that spun away from the righthander and also kept a bit low.
Tim Southee (10) successfully overturned an lbw ruling against Hasan Ali but got stumped by Abrar before Patel hung in with Henry, who replaced Neil Wagner in the only change New Zealand has made from the team that drew the first test.
Hasan couldn’t get a success in his comeback to test cricket since last July as he bowled 21 wicketless overs for 72 runs.
Henry showed a lot of aggression against the pace, lifting Hasan and Naseem for big sixes over mid-wicket and smashing eight boundaries. Naseem went for an unsuccessful lbw TV referral when Henry was on 27 before Henry, playing his first test since June last year, latched onto any loose delivery with perfection.
Patel was equally good against the spinners, hitting four boundaries as both showed plenty of determination before New Zealand finally got bowled out soon after lunch.
Shafique showed early aggression against Tim Southee and Henry and struck four boundaries before he played a reckless pull and holed out to deep mid-wicket.
Masood smashed three fours in Patel’s one over but tried an overambitious cut against the leftarmer in the same over that saw him giving a regulation catch to Devon Conway at point as New Zealand made early inroads and left Pakistan still trailing by 387 runs.