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Ton-up Latham anchors New Zealand in second Test

Ton-up Latham anchors New Zealand in second Test
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The 22-year-old followed his 103 in the first Test with another confident unbeaten 137 to help his team cash into the early advantage of winning the toss and opting to bat on a flat and grass-less Dubai stadium pitch.

When bad lights forced closure three overs before schedule, Corey Anderson was seven not out on a day dominated by left-handed Latham. Latham put on a resolute 77-run stand for the opening wicket with Brendon McCullum (43) and another 76 for the second wicket with Kane Williamson (32). He then added 73 for the third wicket with Ross Taylor who was caught at short cover off leg-spinner Yasir Shah after scoring 23. Latham, playing only his sixth Test, hit Zulfiqar Babar for a six to reach 90s and after hitting a boundary off the same bowler took a single to complete his century off 192 balls.

Pakistan, missing a fifth bowler after Mohammad Hafeez was left out due to a hamstring injury, toiled hard and to add to their woes did not hold their chances. Azhar Ali let off Latham in gully when the batsman was 103 and also grassed Taylor on 11, both off Babar.Latham, who impressed in the first Test, once again showed grit and application during his 375-minute stay, hitting 11 boundaries and a six. Babar broke the stubborn second wicket stand when he turned one across Williamson’s bat and hit the off stump.

BRIEFSCORES NZL 243 for 3 (Latham 137*, McCullum 43, Williamson 32, Ehsan  Adil 1/41) v Pakistan.
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