Pakistan steadily moves to 82-1 on day 1, 3rd test
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan progressed steadily to 82-1 at lunch after New Zealand veteran Daniel Vettori made a surprise return to test cricket Wednesday in the third test.
Fit-again Mohammad Hafeez, who missed the drawn second test due to hamstring injury, was unbeaten on 47 with six boundaries and a six while Azhar Ali was not out 20 after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat on a flat wicket.
Offspinner Mark Craig got the only success when he bowled Shan Masood (12) in his first over after Hafeez dominated the first hour and took Pakistan to 43-0.
Vettori bowled a three-over spell in the morning session, his first in a test in more than two years. The 35-year-old former test skipper was recalled as New Zealand chases a win it needs to level the three-test series.
Hafeez gave Pakistan a brisk start as he drove Trent Boult’s first ball of the match to the point boundary and in the next over flicked Tim Southee to fine leg fence.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum turned to Vettori in only 10th over and Hafeez greeted the left-arm spinner with a pulled six over midwicket in his second over.
Masood struggled to rotate the strike before he pushed tentatively to Craig’s delivery and was bowled between bat and pad.
Ali was little troubled by the spinners and pulled Craig to midwicket for a six and also hit two boundaries.
Vettori, who last played a test in July 2012, also became New Zealand’s most capped test player with 112 matches, surpassing former captain Stephen Fleming.
He also played one more test while representing the ICC World XI against Australia.
Pakistan made two changes for the third test, with Hafeez returning to replace Taufeeq Umar after recovering from his injury and also undergoing testing in England on his suspect bowling action.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq said at the toss Hafeez would continue to bowl in the test match as the result of his test is yet to come.
Fast bowler Ehsan Adil was ruled out due to a side strain and was replaced by Mohammad Talha.