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Pakistan stutter at 34-2, trail New Zealand by 369 runs

Pakistan stutter at 34-2, trail New Zealand by 369 runs
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Legspinner Ish Sodhi clean bowled Shan Masood for 13 and offspinner Mark Craig cut short Taufeeq Umar’s comeback to Test matches after two years when he had him stumped on 16 just before the end of the day’s play.

Pakistan were forced to draft in new opening batsmen as the in-form Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez were injured during the 248-run victory in the first Test last week.

But with the track showing ominous signs of turn, Masood and Umar struggled to cope against spinners before perishing late on the second day. Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 4 while Younis Khan, who has four centuries in his previous six Test innings, will resume on 1. New Zealand were in danger of losing the initiative when it lost century-maker Tom Latham (137) and Corey Anderson (9) inside the first three overs in the morning after they resumed at 243-3.

But Craig, dropped twice, and BJ Watling pinched Pakistan with a 68-run seventh-wicket stand, then Sodhi (32 not out) guided New Zealand to 400 with a straight six off Pakistan’s most successful bowler, Zulfiqar Babar, who took 4-137. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was rewarded when he turned to Azhar, and the part-time legspinner immediately broke the Watling-Craig partnership by having Watling caught at backward point on 39.

Briefscores Pakistan 34 for 2 trail New Zealand 403 (Latham 137, Babar 4-137) by 369 runs.
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