Tom Latham and Kane Williamson crushed hundreds to help New Zealand beat Pakistan’s first innings 438 in the opening Test at Karachi’s National Stadium on Wednesday.
Middle class hitters Daryl Mitchell (42) and Tom Blundell (47) fell half a century short, but New Zealand still finished day three with an impressive 440-6 and optimistic about a handy lead. Williamson batted on 105, his 25th test hundred, with Ish Sodhi on one side on the other. Earlier Devon Conway fell for 92, but Tom Latham could not be denied his century after New Zealand resumed at 165 with no loss at the National Stadium.
Nauman Ali spun one past the bat and into Conway’s path to clear the opener which was initially not ruled out but had to go after Pakistan reviewed umpire Aleem Dar’s decision. Latham took a single from Abrar Ahmed to record his 13th test hundred, the most by a New Zealand opener, in his 69th game.
Latham used his feet against the spinners and looked confident until an attempted reverse sweep against Abrar brought his downfall.
Latham managed to take the gloved ball which billowed behind the wicket-keeper and the slipfielder had plenty of time to go across and put it away. Henry Nicholls (22) dragged a Nauman delivery on his stumps, but Mitchell’s arrival offered no respite to Pakistan’s exhausting attack. Mitchell swept back the second ball he saw, from Nauman, for a four and hit it off the spinner on the next over for a six.
Mohammad Wasim was treated with equal contempt as Mitchell hit four straight fours on the mat.
Mitchell’s entertaining knock was cut short as he whistled his reverse sweep against Abrar. Williamson had an lbw decision overturned against him and survived a great opportunity before reaching his hundred with a single off Wasim.
While their bowling lacked firepower, Pakistan’s fielding play was also sloppy, best illustrated when Imam-ul-Haq and Abrar ran after a skier from Blundell, but both backed out at the last minute.