Hamilton Test: Pakistan losing grip as NZ maintain lead
HAMILTON: New Zealand extended lead over 250 runs with 5 wickets remaining on the penultimate day of the second Test against Pakistan in Hamilton on Monday.
Pakistan claimed the vital wickets of Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham and Kane Williamson to slow New Zealand´s advance towards an imposing target.
Latham fell for 80 and Williamson for 42 in the middle session of play as New Zealand reached tea at 181-3 in their second innings, a lead of 236 with seven wickets in hand.
Ross Taylor was on 37 with Henry Nicholls unbeaten on nine.
New Zealand won the first Test and a draw in Hamilton would be enough for them to claim the two-Test series. They have not beaten Pakistan 13 Test series dating back to 1985.
Pakistan had their tails up when they removed Jeet Raval early on day four, but they found further success hard to come by as Latham and Williamson put on 96 for the second wicket.
Imran Khan made the breakthrough in the third over after lunch with a ball that angled in on Williamson and caught an outside edge that went through to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Latham, with Ross Taylor his new partner, seldom had a dull moment as he survived several appeals and smacked 12 boundaries to reach his highest score in 14 innings and put behind him ducks in his last two outings.
He was eventually undone by Wahab Riaz, who was still able to find life on the fourth day of a browning pitch.
He fired a short ball which angled in towards the batsman and when Latham attempted to fend it away it looped off his glove to Ahmad.
Latham had survived a run out appeal by the narrowest of margins on 23 after being called through for a quick single by Williamson.
After watching multiple television replays, umpire Ian Gould ruled there was one frame in it, only for a technical gremlin see the word “out” go up on the big screen before it was quickly corrected.
Pakistan wasted a review on Latham for a Sohail Khan lbw shout when the replay showed a clear inside edge, and the review of an lbw appeal from Imran progressed only as far as the delivery which showed it was a no ball.
On 41, Latham was dropped by Sami Aslam, the third time in this Test that the fielder has spilled a catch off the bowling of Mohammad Amir.
Taylor, who stood in a partnership of 52 with Latham, has added a further 22 with Nicholls. For Pakistan, Amir, Imran and Riaz have one wicket each.