PAK vs NZ: Babar Azam dismissed early as Pakistan strive for big total

After Babar's departure, Pakistan could only score 30 runs in an hour

December 27, 2022
Babar Azam departed on day 2 - PCB

KARACHI: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam fell short to read Tim Southee's good length delivery - pitching at fifth stump - and had to walk off in just the opening over of day 2 here at National Bank Cricket Arena. 

New Zealand's skipper Southee gave an early breakthrough on the second day of first Test as their team is now set on the front to get Pakistan bowl out as earlier as they can. 

Babar failed to add anything to his overnight score of 161 runs. 

After Babar's departure, his overnight partner Agha Salman joined hands with the newly arrived batter Nauman Ali. But, they could only score 30 runs off 17 overs in an hour.

When this story was filed, Pakistan were 349-6.  

It must be noted that Azam knocked a fighting hundred and the recalled Sarfaraz Ahmed hit a half century to guide Pakistan to a healthy 317-5 on the opening day.

The pair led Pakistan´s recovery from 110-4 during a 196-run fifth wicket stand, as the home team lost only Sarfaraz in the last two sessions.

New Zealand spinners had taken three early wickets on a spin-assisting National Stadium pitch and one before lunch but had to wait until the closing moments when Ajaz Patel got Sarfaraz caught in the slip for 86.

At close, Azam was unbeaten on 161 and Agha Salman three as the home team looked to lift from last week´s 3-0 loss at the hands of England, their first ever whitewash at home.

Azam now has 1,170 runs in nine Tests this year — the highest run scorer in Tests in 2022.

He also beat Mohammad Yousuf´s 2006 aggregate of 2,435 in all three formats, taking 2,584 runs across the board this year.

— Additional input from AFP.