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Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Rizwan lead Pakistan's fight back in Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui, 28 December 2020: All-rounder Faheem Ashraf posted his Test best and captain Mohammad Rizwan registered the fourth half-century of his career as their 107-run seventh-wicket partnership led Pakistan’s rescue act on the third day of the first Test of the two-match ICC World Test Championship series being played at the Bay Oval Mount Maunganui on Monday.

The Rizwan-Faheem alliance helped Pakistan avoid the follow-on as the tourists were bowled for 239 runs in reply to New Zealand’s first innings score of 431 all out, a first innings deficit of 192 runs.

Left-handed Faheem narrowly missed out on a maiden Test hundred; he was dismissed for 91 (134 balls, 15 fours, one six) by fast bowler Kyle Jamieson as stumps were drawn for the day.

Resuming at the overnight score of 30 for one, Pakistan batsmen aimed at occupying the crease as Abid Ali and night watchman Mohammad Abbas took the score to 39, adding nine runs in 12.2 overs in the morning session before Abid was bowled by Jamieson for 25 off 104 balls (three fours).

Abbas was dismissed by Trent Boult for five runs which left Pakistan 43 for three.

Azhar Ali (5), Haris Sohail (3) and Fawad Alam (9) failed to make substantial contributions as Pakistan stuttered to 80 for six before Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf joined hands.

Rizwan who looked poised for his first Test century was unfortunately run out on 71 (142 balls, eight fours) via a direct hit by Mitchell Santner while attempting a second run.

Yasir Shah was bowled by Boult for four with the score at 196; Shaheen (6) fell to Neil Wagner while Faheem was the last man dismissed.

Jamieson took three wickets while Tim Southee, Wagner and Boult took two wickets each. 

Scores in brief (close of play day two):

New Zealand 431 all out, 155 overs (Kane Williamson 129, BJ Watling 73, Ross Taylor 70; Shaheen Shah Afridi 4-109, Yasir Shah 3-113)

Pakistan 239 all out, 102.2 overs (Faheem Ashraf 91, Mohammad Rizwan 71; Kyle Jamieson 3-35, Neil Wagner 2-50, Tim Southee 2-69, Trent Boult 2-71)