New Zealand centurions Kane Williamson, Tom Latham punish Pakistan as they falter


Kane Williamson and Tom Latham hit contrasting century stands to propel New Zealand to 440-6 on the third day of the first Test against Pakistan in Karachi on Wednesday. Williamson survived two stumpings and a leg-before decision before hitting an unbeaten 105, while Ish Sodhi was on one, with the tourists two runs ahead. Williamson’s 25th Test century was his first in international cricket since he scored 238 against Pakistan in Christchurch in January last year.

He built on a solid foundation laid by opener Latham, who scored 113 on his way to his 13th Test century, and Devon Conway, who was dismissed for 92.

With the National Stadium pitch expected to spin over the last two days, New Zealand will look to take home advantage in the first Test of the two-match series, their first in Pakistan since 2002.

Williamson completed his century by pushing fast bowler Mohammad Wasim for a quick single, his fifth against Pakistan. Overall he batted for 356 minutes and hit 11 fours.

But wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed made two stumpings with Williamson on 15 and 21 as Pakistan squandered the missed opportunity – spinner Nauman Ali being the unlucky bowler on both occasions.

Nauman said, “I think they were chances but one ball was down the leg side and Sarfaraz did his best.” “The pitch is on the slower side so we will try to get four quick wickets on the first day and then set a good target of around 200 – which will be good on this pitch.”

Williamson put on a solid 90 for the fifth wicket with Tom Blundell, who fell to Wasim for 47. Pakistan’s spin duo Nauman and Abrar Ahmed took two wickets each in the post-lunch session, with Henry Nicholls falling for 22 and Daryl Mitchell scoring one. Strong 47-ball 42. Ahmed, who has figures of 3-143, also had Michael Bracewell for five.

reversed the decision

Williamson, who also overturned a leg-before decision against him for 13, added 65 runs for the fourth wicket with Mitchell. After Pakistan took the second new ball at 272-3, Mitchell hit seven fours and a six, including four consecutive fours off Wasim.

Earlier, progressing to 165 without loss, New Zealand were lifted by Latham’s 13th century – the most centuries by a New Zealand opener. Latham took a single off Ahmed to reach the three-figure mark, eclipsing John Wright’s tally of 12 centuries as an opener for New Zealand.

He was eventually dismissed for 113 after reverse sweeping and being caught in the slips. Latham, who hit ten fours in his 288-minute innings, believes New Zealand are in a good position to push for victory.

“The pitch has started turning more from the footprint, so obviously it’s not going to be easy to bat on,” he added. “Hopefully, in the position we are in, we can go as far as possible and put Pakistan under pressure.”

Latham and Devon Conway put on 183 for the first wicket, breaking New Zealand’s record of 181 by openers Mark Richardson and Matthew Bell against Pakistan in Hamilton in 2001. Fifth Test half-century.

The Pakistan camp was hit by viral flu with skipper Babar Azam not taking the field in the first session and Agha Salman missing for the entire day.

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