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New Zealand leave Pakistan struggling on 115-4 in 1st Test

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Spinners Michael Bracewell and Ajaz Patel grabbed three wickets between them to leave Pakistan struggling on 115-4 at lunch Monday on the opening day of the first Test in Karachi.

Bracewell dismissed Shan Masood for three and Imam-ul-Haq for 24, while Patel took the early wicket of Abdullah Shafique for seven after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat.

In the penultimate over before lunch, fast bowler Tim Southee dismissed Saud Shakeel for 22 to complete a successful session for the tourists, playing their first Test series in Pakistan since 2002.

At the break, skipper Babar Azam was unbeaten on 54 — his 27th Test half-century — and the recalled Sarfaraz Ahmed was on four.

New Zealand’s decision to play with three spinners was justified as the National Stadium pitch took turn right from the start — with Patel coming on to bowl the fourth over of the innings.

He turned his third ball across a forward-playing Shafique, and had him stumped by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.

Bracewell then had Masood stumped in his second over — and could have had Azam for 12, but Daryl Mitchell dropped a regulation catch at slip.

Bracewell earned some compensation in the same over when Haq miscued a drive and was caught at mid-off.

Pakistan, who suffered their first-ever 3-0 home whitewash to England last week, recalled Sarfaraz, Mir Hamza and Haq to the side.

Sarfaraz is playing his first Test since January 2019. Hamza’s only other Test appearance was in October 2018.

Teams: Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Agha Salman, Abrar Ahmed, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Wasim, Nauman Ali

New Zealand: Tim Southee (captain), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson

Umpires: Alex Wharf (ENG) and Aleem Dar (PAK)

Tv umpire: Ahsan Raza (PAK)

Match referee: Mohammad Javed Malik (PAK)


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