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NZ Make Solid Start To First Test

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
NZ Make Solid Start To First Test

Hamilton, Jan 7 NZPA - New Zealand's batsmen weathered the early storm and set a solid foundation by reaching 78 for one at lunch on the first day of the first cricket test against Pakistan at Seddon Park here today.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and opted to field as he sought to capitalise on the early moisture in the pitch and humid conditions under overcast skies, but his bowlers had little joy and already the surface looks a good one for batting.

A combination of New Zealand's positive approach, an error from Australian umpire Rod Tucker and too many loose balls from the Pakistani bowlers -- New Zealand scored 52 of their runs in boundaries -- meant the tourists' decision to bowl appears to have backfired.

Umar Gul bowled with good pace and carry but the tourists were unable to get as much swing as expected and the only wicket to fall, that of Tim McIntosh for five in the second over of the morning, was due more a misjudgment on the batsman's part.

Brendon McCullum, on 42 not out, and Martin Guptill, 28 not out, were beaten several times early but quickly settled.

McCullum was aggressive without being reckless although he was fortunate to be given not out by Tucker when he clearly gloved a pull shot off Wahab Riaz to wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal when on 34.

The decision review system is not being used in this series.

McCullum signalled his intent early and despite good fortune on several occasions he looked like a man in form.

Guptill got his innings started with two lovely on drives for four and looked assured off both feet in a steady session, which ended with the introduction of left-arm spinner Adbur Rehman to the Pakistan attack.

Earlier, McIntosh misjudged a straight delivery and was well caught by Younis Khan diving low to his left at second slip, leaving the hosts nine for one.

New Zealand omitted Wellington allrounder James Franklin and Auckland pace bowler Daryl Tuffey from their squad, while Pakistan left out batsman Umar Akmal and left-arm swing bowler Sohail Tanvir. Umar Akmal's absence will raise the eyebrows of followers here, the young batsman having thrilled last summer with his raw talent and fearlessness.

He scored 129 and 75 on debut in the Dunedin test at the end of 2009 but is 12th man in this match.

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