Pakistan strike twice before lunch to peg back New Zealand

Christchurch (New Zealand) (AFP) –


Pakistan removed openers Tom Blundell and Tom Latham just before lunch to have New Zealand 66 for two at the end of the first session on day two of the second Test in Christchurch on Monday.

Ross Taylor was not out 10, Kane Williamson on four with New Zealand trailing Pakistan's first innings 297 by 231 at the interval.

Latham (33) and Blundell (16) had initially given Pakistan a lesson on how to bat in New Zealand conditions as they put on 52 for the first wicket before falling in consecutive overs.

The pitch, although drying, continued to offer the bounce and movement which New Zealand exploited on day one but the Pakistan attack was thrown off-line by Latham and Blundell taking guard well in front of the crease.

Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah were forced to modify their lengths to compensate, consequently they did not pressure the off stump as much as they should and neither Latham nor Blundell were seduced into unnecessary shots.

Blundell faced 22 balls before getting off the mark by pulling Shaheen Afridi to the boundary.

The only time he was in trouble in the first hour came taking a rushed single, and had Afridi's throw at the stumps from mid-on been on target Pakistan would have taken their first wicket.

The breakthrough eventually came when Faheem Ashraf had the ball jagging back sharply at Blundell and the second time he hit the pads brought a loud lbw shout.

The umpire was initially unmoved but Pakistan successfully sought a review.

The wicket gave the tourists new life and in the following over Afridi found the edge of Latham's bat with the ball flying to the cordon where Shan Masood at second slip spilled the catch only for quick-thinking first slip Haris Sohail to grasp the rebound.