KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — New Zealand’s opening pair of left-handed batters responded with a solid 165-0 in the first cricket test on Tuesday after Agha Salman had scored his first test century and led Pakistan to 438.
Devon Conway and Tom Latham batted confidently against the challenging spin of Abrar Ahmed on a dry wicket to remain unbeaten on 82 and 78, respectively, at stumps on the second day.
New Zealand trails by 273 in its first test tour to Pakistan since 2002.
Conway also completed 1,000 test runs in 19 innings, taking the national record previously held by John F. Reid.
“We still scored at 3.5 (runs) an over without sort of forcing any risks,” said Kiwi legspinner Ish Sodhi. “Hopefully it continues for us tomorrow.”
Conway could have been dismissed on 57, an hour into the last session, but Pakistan missed an opportunity by opting not to go for a caught-behind TV referral. Television replays suggested Conway had got a faint inside edge after Nauman Ali had spun the ball back into the batter from the rough.
Both batters used their feet well against Abrar, who took 17 wickets in two test matches against England earlier this month. Conway reached his half century off 89 balls with nine fours, including four against Abrar.
Latham followed in reaching his 50 off 96 balls with six fours as both batters grew in confidence and didn’t hesitate to even reverse sweep on a wicket which still has some turn for the spinners.
Pakistan’s weakened pace attack in the absence of injured Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, didn’t offer a challenge to Conway and Latham with the new ball as both batters took New Zealand to 41-0 by tea before adding 124 more runs in the final session.
Leftarm fast bowler Mir Hamza, recalled after four years since playing his only test against Australia in 2018, and Mohammad Wasim, also playing only his second test, couldn’t break through.