Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wickets cap Tuffey's return

Daryl Tuffey went through a gamut of emotions on his return to test cricket yesterday.

Nervousness, confidence and relief all flickered through the big seamer's mind at various moments on his first day back on the big stage in five years.

He finished with a tidy two for 32 off 16 overs as Pakistan slumped to 161 for six.

Tuffey's last test, his 22nd, was at Leeds in 2004. However he backed himself to do the business, on the strength of a good domestic first-class campaign for Auckland last season and having shown his capabilities since his recall to the national side in Sri Lanka in August.

"I was confident. I had good preparation and I've been bowling well for a few months now. It's good to have some wickets behind you," the 31-year-old said last night.

And nabbing two wickets yesterday was pure relief after his regular dose of pre-match nerves.

"When I saw the bails flick off [to dismiss Umar Akmal] it was a great relief," he said.

Tuffey confirmed New Zealand never wavered in self-belief even after Pakistan had reached 60 without loss.

"We've seen a few loose shots from them. In the last test and even today when they were losing wickets they were still playing the odd flamboyant shot outside off stump.

"That's the way they play and if we bowl enough balls in the right area these things will happen."

He reckons being disciplined is essential to restricting Pakistan to less than 200.

"That's the goal. We can do that by keeping pretty disciplined tomorrow.

"We don't want to release the pressure and get carried away."

Strangely, Pakistan are reasonably relaxed at the situation.

Opener Imran Farhat figured 250 will be a good score, and give their capable bowlers something to work with.

"We all decided to play positive cricket. Sometimes it works, sometimes not," he said.

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