Cricket: Pakistan batsmen let Kiwis off hook

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New Zealand 242; Pakistan 61-4

THE PITCH at Eden Gardens was green enough yesterday to have persuaded Salim Malik to put New Zealand into bat, but there was not enough movement to justify 14 wickets falling in the day. New Zealand were bowled out for 242 and by the end of an absorbing day Pakistan had reached 61 for 4.

When New Zealand batted there were good spells from Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and some intriguing overs of leg spin from Mushtaq Ahmed, who managed to contain a sharp challenge from Mark Greatbatch, who made 48 in 34 balls.

Greatbatch came in determined to destroy Mushtaq in the first of the three Test matches and, driving and sweeping at his very best, he hit eight fours and one six. But Salim Malik, who handled things well in the field, kept his leg- spinner in good humour and, after being hit for 36 in three overs, he threw up an inviting googly which Greatbatch skied to extra cover.

Otherwise, New Zealand's innings centred around a typically obdurate effort by Andrew Jones. He never looked entirely happy in defence although he played some good attacking strokes, especially through the off side off the back foot. Eventually, he drove outside a googly from Mushtaq and was caught behind.

Bryan Young, who opened, batted nicely before lunch before a wild drive to a wide half- volley, the first ball after lunch. Shane Thomson showed he has matured a good deal and played the leg spin as well as anyone. The wicketkeeper, Terry Blain, made a useful contribution but New Zealand still seemed well short of an adequate score.

In the last 15 minutes, however, some good bowling by New Zealand's inexperienced seam attack, coupled with some optimistic strokes from the Pakistanis, resulted in three edged catches and a beauty taken in the gully by Jones off a fierce cut by Aamir Sohail.

(First day; Pakistan won toss)

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings

B A Young c Latif b Younis 29

B A Pocock c Latif b Akram 0

A H Jones c Latif b Mushtaq 66

*K R Rutherford b Younis 14

M S Greatbatch c Malik b Mushtaq 48

S A Thomson c Latif b Younis 29

C L Cairns c Malik b Mushtaq 6

T E Blain c Mushtaq b Akram 26

S B Doull c and b Younis 0

R P de Groen c Mushtaq b Akram 2

M B Owens not out 2

Extras (lb8 nb7 b4 w1) 20

Total 242

Fall: 1-3 2-67 3-95 4-170 5-175 6-185 7-228 8-228 9-233

Bowling: Wasim Akram 22.3-9-50-3; Waqar Younis 15-2-46-4; Ata-ur-Rehman 14-3-55-0; Mushtaq Ahmed 17-1-79-3.

PAKISTAN - First Innings

Saeed Anwar c Blain b Cairns 16

Aamir Sohail c Jones b de Groen 16

Asif Mujtaba c Blain b Doull 8

Mushtaq Ahmed c Young b Doull 0

*Salim Malik not out 5

Basit Ali not out 8

Extras (lb5 nb3) 8

Total (for 4) 61

Fall: 1-17 2-36 3-48 4-50

Bowling: Cairns 6-1-24-1 (3nb); Owens 4-1- 11-0; Doull 3-0-16-2; de Groen 2-0-5-1.