Thursday, December 3, 2009

Early strike for Pakistan

Kamran Akmal brushed off a blow to the head and two leg before wicket appeal reviews to guide Pakistan to 264 on day two of the second cricket test with New Zealand at the Basin Reserve today.
The wicketkeeper revised New Zealand's plans of initiating a quick kill when Pakistan resumed on 161 for six with the tail exposed.

He counter attacked in similar style to younger brother Umar, top scoring with 70 before Pakistan's first innings ended shortly before lunch.

Happy to have added 103 today, Pakistan's fortunes received another boost when Mohammad Aamer dismissed Martin Guptill for a duck for the second time in consecutive innings, the opener caught at the wicket by Kamran Akmal five deliveries into the chase.

New Zealand were one for one in reply at the break with Tim McIntosh, one, and Daniel Flynn yet to score.

Earlier Kamran and Umar Gul, 31, produced a frustrating 64-run stand for the eighth wicket, underlining a frustrating morning for the home side though Daryl Tuffey - playing his first test for five years - and Daniel Vettori both ended with four-wicket bags.

Kamran was clouted on the helmet by Chris Martin's fifth ball of the morning and twice faced leg before wicket referrals on 35 before notching his 11th test fifty from 55 balls with his sixth boundary -- a strike rate reminiscent of younger brother Umar's 46 yesterday.

Restarting on 21, Kamran eventually added 37 for the seventh wicket with Aamer, who was caught at slip by Ross Taylor an over after the same fielder grassed an identical chance.

Aamer could not benefit from his reprieve and departed for 21 to Iain O'Brien's sixth ball of the session.

Tuffey had been unlucky in the previous over but still ended with respectable figures of four for 64 from 23.2 overs, adding Kamran -- caught at deep mid off by Vettori -- today before also having Gul nabbed in the deep.

Kamran made his runs from 85 balls and struck eight boundaries.

Pakistan had issues with the umpires review decision system (UDRS) when it was introduced during the first test in Dunedin last week but fared better today.

Kamran used Pakistan's last life wisely when he was given out leg before wicket by South African Rudi Koertzen from O'Brien's bowling.

He had no hesitation calling for a review and replays available to third umpire Billy Doctrove confirmed the ball was clearing the stumps.

Before Doctrove correctly over-ruled Koertzen, Australian umpire Simon Taufel declined Vettori's leg before wicket appeal against Kamran.

New Zealand sought a second opinion but replays indicated the ball brushed a glove as Kamran attempted a sweep shot. Vettori closed with four for 58 from 22 overs.

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