Blackcaps news | New Zealand make Test cricket history against Pakistan in Karachi
The Blackcaps have become the first team in men’s Test cricket history to take the first two wickets in an innings via stumping.
Facing Pakistan in Karachi, spin bowler Ajaz Patel took the first scalp when Abdullah Shafique was stumped by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell for seven runs in just the fourth over.
Michael Bracewell followed suit, sending Shan Masood back to the pavilion who went out for just three runs.
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It was the second instance of back-to-back stumpings to start a Test match overall.
In 1976, a women’s Test between Australia and West Indies started with a double stumping in Jamaica.
Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed by Bracewell for 24 and then Saud Shakeel went for 22 off the bowling of freshly minted captain Tim Southee.
Pakistan, who chose to bat on the first day, found themselves up against the wall at 4-110 before Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed settled in for the afternoon.
However, the early heroics were quickly forgotten.
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New Zealand was made to pay after Daryl Mitchell dropped Azam on just 12.
Making the most of his second chance, the captain shot to 161 not out at the end the day’s play.
It marked just the second instance in which he had eclipsed 150 runs in his Test career.
With day two still to come, Azam could topple his previous best high score of 196 that he recorded this year at the same venue against Australia.
There was a late grab by the visitors who dismissed Ahmad on 86, leaving Pakistan on 5/317 by the close of play with Azam at the crease alongside Agha Salman on three.
Azam, who has enjoyed a rich vein of form, rose to the top of the pile for most Test runs scored in a calendar year.
At the end of day one, he’d eclipsed England’s Joe Root with 1170 runs from just 16 innings and averaging a whopping 78, the highest average of any player inside the top 10.
Azam now lays claim to the most 50-plus scores for a captain in a calendar year, eclipsing Ricky Ponting’s record of 24 from 2005.
It was a historic day for cricket as New Zealand returned to Pakistan for the first time since 2002.
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