NZ vs PAK Boxing Day Test: Day 4: Stumps - Pakistan need 302 runs
NZ - 431 & 180/5 d (Blundell 64, Latham 53, Naseem Shah 3/55, Abbas 1/33)
PAK - 239 & 71/3 (Azhar Ali 34*, Fawad Alam 21*, Southee 2/15, Boult 1/24)
The hosts New Zealand will be taking on Pakistan (NZ vs PAK) in the first Test at the Bay Oval. This match is heading to the final day, possibly the only Boxing Day Test this year to do so and this is the equation. New Zealand needs seven wickets while the visitors need 302 runs. Starting the day with a 192-run lead, the Kiwi openers scored at a brisk rate, scored their respective half-centuries and NZ declared on 180/5. Pakistan ended 78/3 at the Stumps on Day 4. Azhar Ali remains unbeaten on 34 while Fawad Alam gave him company by scoring 21* on day four.
Kane Williamson-led New Zealand team batted aggressively and declared half an hour before tea break and squeezes out both Pakistan team openers without conceding a single run. It was a much better performance from the visitors especially in the final session with Azhar Ali standing like a rock along with Fawad Alam, who chipped in with some useful contribution with the bat.
Kiwi speedster Tim Southee achieved another feat with his second wicket of PAK innings as he became the third New Zealand bowler to pass 300 wickets in Tests. The pitch is deteriorating with some balls carrying extra bounce and sometimes the ball remains low a little bit.
THAT'S STUMPS on DAY FOUR! A special moment for Tim Southee claiming his 300th Test Wicket.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 29, 2020
DAY FIVE: @TheRealPCB require a further 302 runs, we need seven wickets!
REMEMBER: DAY FIVE is FREE at @BayOvalOfficial 🏏#NZvPAK #CricketNation
📷 = @PhotosportNZ pic.twitter.com/53M9Fc7hUq
Meanwhile, Neil Wagner's availability could be doubtful on the final day of the Boxing Day Test courtesy of his fractured toes. Let's hope that this Test goes down to the wire on the final day of the game.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and opted to field first. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson hits a scintillating ton (129 off 297) including 12 fours and a six. Ross Taylor and BJ Watling also chipped in with some crucial knocks in the middle-order. Watling scored 73 and Taylor played a stellar (70) to propel their side to 431. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi scalped four wickets while Yasir Shah who got the big fish in the form of Kane Williamson ended up with 3/113.