Conway, Latham lead strong NZ reply against Pakistan
KARACHI: Devon Conway and Tom Latham forged an unbroken opening partnership of 165 to lead New Zealand’s robust reply to Pakistan’s first-innings 438 in the opening Test in Karachi on Tuesday.
Conway was batting on 82 having completed 1,000 Test runs in 19 innings, the fastest by a New Zealand batter. Latham was on 78 with New Zealand, who scored at three-and-a-half runs an over, still 273 behind. After Pakistan resumed on 317-5 on day two, home captain Babar Azam fell in the first over but the lower order resisted strongly, led by Agha Salman’s maiden Test hundred.
Babar could not add to his overnight score of 161 and was caught behind off the bowling of Tim Southee but the collapse New Zealand wanted did not materialise. Batting with the tailenders, Agha cleverly rotated the strike and brought up his hundred with back-to-back fours off spinner Ish Sodhi. Agha was the last Pakistan wicket to fall, trapped lbw by Southee (3-69) after trying to hit the bowler over midwicket. Agha’s defiant 103 included 17 fours.
Conway and Latham denied Pakistan an early breakthrough and shared a century stand before the home side managed to create an opportunity.
Conway was on 57 when he attempted a cut shot against left-arm spinner Nauman Ali and Pakistan’s half-hearted appeal for caught-behind was turned down. Nauman looked convinced Conway had edged the ball, and replays later confirmed it, but Babar, who was standing in the slips, chose not to review the decision. Conway and Latham had little difficulty dealing with young Pakistan spinner Abrar Ahmed, who claimed 17 wickets in two matches in his debut series against England this month
Babar himself bowled three overs but his part-time off-spin failed to make the breakthrough.
Brief scores: Pakistan 438 in 130.5 overs (B Azam 161, A Salman 103, S Ahmed 86, T Southee 3/69) vs New Zealand 165/0 in 47 overs (T Latham 78 batting, D Conway 82 batting)