1st Test, Day 1: Babar Azam ton lifts Pakistan after New Zealand strike early | Cricket News


KARACHI: Captain Babar Azam hit an unbeaten 161 as Pakistan overcame a shaky start to score 317-5 against New Zealand on day one of the opening Test at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday.
Babar took advantage of his luck in a 277-ball inning that contained 15 fours and a big six to elevate his century while Agha Salman was unbeaten on three stumps after New Zealand failed to capitalize on a good start with the ball.
Babar opted to strike first and the tour team began their first test in Pakistan in 20 years taking two quick wickets via stumps, with Ajaz Patel taking out Abdullah Shafique for seven and partner Michael Bracewell dismissing Shan Masood for three .
Bracewell could have had the key wicket from Babar in the 15th, but Daryl Mitchell dropped a mere chance at the first slip, although the bowler responded by catching Imam-ul-Haq for 24 at halftime three deliveries later.
Pakistan recovered from early blows as Babar reached his half-century but New Zealand skipper Tim Southee cut them to 110-4 when Saud Shakeel (22) beat one against Henry Nicholls at the little ravine Before the break fast.
Babar continued his act of rescue after the break, however reaching his ninth century test in the company of Ahmed Sarfarazwho scored 86 in his first Test since 2019 after replacing wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan in the side.
Babar had a great 196-point partnership with Sarfaraz before Patel fired the former captain when he beat one against Mitchell at the first slip shortly before the close.
New Zealand, who scrapped their white-ball tour of Pakistan last year due to security concerns, are looking to end a four-game losing streak in Tests with Southee as their new captain following the tenure of six years of Kane Williamson.
Pakistan are looking to overcome a similar crisis, including a 3-0 home series loss to England, in the two-Test series against the New Zealanders.



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