New Zealand vs Pakistan: Colin de Grandhomme's six wickets on debut sinks Misbah and Co
New Zealand's Test newcomers shone on debut, with Colin de Grandhomme taking 6-41 and opener Jeet Raval making an unbeaten 55 on Friday, as the hosts took the upper hand on Day two of the first Test against Pakistan
Christchurch: New Zealand's Test newcomers shone on debut, with Colin de Grandhomme taking 6-41 and opener Jeet Raval making an unbeaten 55 on Friday, as the hosts took the upper hand on Day two of the first Test against Pakistan.
After Day one was lost to rain, Pakistan were sent in to bat on a seamer-friendly wicket and were bowled out for just 133 in their first innings, with New Zealand 104-3 in reply at the Hagley Oval.
De Grandhomme, a 30-year-old Zimbabwe-born all-rounder who had only one five-wicket bag in 84 first class matches before Friday, set the tone of the second day as he returned the best-ever figures by a New Zealander on Test debut. His fellow debutant, Auckland opening batsman Jeet Raval, held three catches during the Pakistan innings then shared a unbroken 64-run partnership with Henry Nicholls (29 not out) which steered New Zealand to a position of strength.
In conditions ideal for swing and seam bowling, New Zealand seemed to have squandered the advantage of winning the toss as Pakistan's openers negotiated the first hour without difficulty.
But de Grandhomme's arrival changed the course of the Pakistan innings. He claimed his first wicket with only his 15th ball and took a series of scalps that included some of the world's best batsman, among them Younis Khan (2).
"It was important to bowl first, especially on a wicket which has been covered for a couple of days," de Grandhomme said. "My plan was just to hit my areas and be confident in doing it and that's what I did more often and it worked in the end."
De Grandhomme bowls right-arm medium-pace, well below the speed of New Zealand's new ball pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, but thrived thanks to the precision of his line and an ability to use his height to create unexpected bounce.
He snared several of his victims by encouraging them to drive at swinging deliveries, capturing three wickets in that manner in his first seven overs.
Pakistan slipped from 53-1 to 56-4, and after a momentary steadying, lost their last six wickets for 45 runs.
Southee contributed 2-20 from 19 overs and Trent Boult took 2-39, including the wicket of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who batted 161 minutes for 31 in his team's only protracted act of resistance.
Raval then played a key role in holding together the top order as more experienced players failed at the other end.
Mohammad Amir trapped Tom Latham (1) lbw, with the decision confirmed by review; Kane Williamson (4) edged a Sohail Khan delivery to Sami Aslam at first slip, and Ross Taylor (11) gloved a Rahat Ali delivery down the leg side, producing a fine diving catch by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
At 3/40, the match was evenly poised before Raval and Nicholls produced an important stand.
A day after New Zealand coach Gary Stead expressed confidence about his availability, Williamson also struck a note of optimism ahead of the match in Sharjah. The tournament begins on 17 October.
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Williamson was left out of Sunrisers Hyderabad's playing XI for their final match of the Indian Premier League, but Stead played down concerns around the chances of the injury hurting Williamson's participation in the marquee event.