England yesterday sensed a chance to end their woeful winless run in overseas Tests, even though New Zealand were to start the final day of the second Test with all 10 wickets still intact.
When bad light ended play 24 overs early in Christchurch, New Zealand were 42 without loss, but still 340 runs short of their formidable 382-run target.
Tom Latham was 25 not out and Jeet Raval unbeaten on 17 after surviving a testing 23 overs before play ended more than an hour early.
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow said there were enough signs to believe the tourists’ run of 12 away matches without a victory could be about to end, but New Zealand were hopeful of a rare series victory against England if they could at least hang on for a draw after winning the first match in the two-Test series.
“There’s definitely enough in the pitch for us to take the wickets,” Bairstow said. “We’ve beaten the bat consistently. Leachy [spinner Jack Leach] bowled three overs this evening and there were some chances created there.”
England’s new-ball pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad repeatedly pressured Latham and Raval, with one tough chance off Latham dropped by James Vince at third slip.
Bairstow believed that “without a shadow of a doubt” his team were in charge, but with 10 wickets in hand, New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan was eyeing what would be only the fourth series win over England in 36 series — and the first since 1999.
“It would be huge. We love playing England. Series wins have been few and far between for New Zealand Test sides and in terms of history it will be very special,” McMillan said, praising Latham and Raval for their stubborn start to the innings. “It was really impressive. It was obviously a tough period against two world-class new-ball bowlers. They got examined and tested in different areas, but they did a great job to get through.”
England flourished at the start of the day when they resumed on 202-3, with Joe Root and Dawid Malan moving the score to 262 before Colin de Grandhomme rallied the hosts.
He had Malan caught at midwicket by Henry Nicholls for 53 to start a tumble that saw six wickets fall for 90 runs before England declared.
De Grandhomme produced his second-best Test figures of 4-94 as he followed up with the wickets of Ben Stokes (12), Broad (12) and Wood (9).
PAKISTAN V WEST INDIES
AFP, KARACHI, Pakistan
Pakistan on Sunday thrashed a depleted West Indies side by 143 runs in the first Twenty20 international at the National Stadium in Karachi, the first international match in the city for nine years.
Pakistan, the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 side, equaled their highest total in the format of 203-5 in 20 overs, before bowling the West Indies out for their lowest-ever total — 60 runs — in 13.4 overs.
The West Indies, missing their regular skipper Carlos Brathwaite, and stars such as Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, could not handle Pakistan’s varied bowling attack.
Only Marlon Samuels (18), Rayad Emrit (11) and Keemo Paul (10) reached double figures.
Pakistan’s margin of victory was the second-biggest in Twenty20s, behind Sri Lanka’s 172-run win over Kenya in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2007.
Previously, the hosts’ biggest victory was a 102-run win against Bangladesh in Karachi in 2008, after scoring 203-5.
Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz and Shoaib Malik got two wickets each.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed praised his team’s performance in the series opener.
“I think we were excellent today,” Ahmed said. “We have an important match tomorrow and with another win we can seal the series win.”
The West Indies’ new Twenty20 skipper Jason Mohammad blamed the defeat on poor batting.
“It was a tough day. We did well with the ball till the last two overs. It was a good wicket, but our shot execution wasn’t good,” said Mohammad, who fell for a duck.
The West Indies’ previous lowest total was 79-7 against Zimbabwe in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in 2010.
Debutant Hussain Talat top-scored for Pakistan with a 37-ball 41, hitting a six and two fours.
He added 75 for the third wicket with Sarfraz, who scored a 22-ball 38 with a six and four fours.
Shoaib Malik played a fiery knock of 37 not out, helping Pakistan get 66 runs in the final five overs.
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