Mount Maunganui, Dec 28 : Rearguard innings from skipper Mohammad Rizwan (71) and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf (91) helped Pakistan avoid follow on and embarrassment after the two shared a 107-run partnership for the seventh wicket on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand here on Monday.
The visitors were all out for 239 in their first innings just before stumps, 192 runs behind New Zealand’s 431.
Pakistan were struggling at 80 for six at one point in time and looked set to follow on before Rizwan and Ashraf counter-attacked to stitch the crucial partnership.
Rizwan, the wicketkeeper-batsman, hit eight fours in his 71-run 142-ball innings while Ashraf made 91 off 134 balls with 15 fours and a six.
The duo batted aggressively going after the New Zealand pace attack after the nervous and edgy top-order couldn’t find ways to score.
Pakistan were so slow that they got to 50 in the 41st over for the loss of three wickets.
They lost overnight opener Abid Ali and nightwatchman Mohammed Abbas in the space of two overs after the two had seen off the first 12 overs of the morning.
Pakistan’s most experienced batsman Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail fell in the 43rd over bowled by Tim Southee.
Left-handed batsman Fawad Alam fell as the sixth wicket with the score on 80 in the 60th over.
For New Zealand, Kyle Jamieson took three for 35 while Southee and Trent Boult took two wickets each.
Brief scores: New Zealand 431 vs Pakistan 239 (M Rizwan 71, F Ashraf 91, K Jamieson 3/35, T Boult 2/71, T Southee 2/69)