Blackcaps v Pakistan: NZ tailenders turn screws to build first innings lead in second test

Pesky tailenders Matt Henry and Ajaz Patel have tortured the Pakistan attack, piling on 88 runs for the final wicket to extend the Blackcaps' first-innings lead on the second morning of the second test at Karachi.

New Zealand have reached lunch at 433/9, which seemed unlikely, when they lost three quick wickets in the morning session.

Ish Sodhi, Tom Blundell and captain Tim Southee fell in the space of 33 runs, but the home side have encountered surprising resistance from Henry and Patel, who accelerated the scoring, perhaps sensing the end was near.

Pakistan celebrate a Blackcaps wicket
Pakistan celebrate a Blackcaps wicket. Photo credit: Getty Images

Henry brought up his third test fifty off 42 balls, including two sixes, and reached lunch on 56, needing 10 runs to match his highest score. Meanwhile, Patel explored uncharted territory with a highest test score of 31.

After a middle-order collapse on the opening day, the Blackcaps resumed play on 309/6, with Blundell and Sodhi at the wicket. Sodhi fell to the bowling of Naseem Shah without adding to the overnight score, while Blundell hung around long enough to record his eighth test fifty, before he was bowled by Abrar Ahmed for 51 with the first delivery after drinks. 

Southee was stumped out of his crease, but Henry and Patel showed their ability with the bat, as the former smashed Hasan Ali for four-four-six in successive balls.

The pair still have a way to go to match New Zealand last-wicket record of 151 by Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge against Pakistan at Auckland in 1973.

After a first-test at the same venue, this encounter will effectively decide the series and despite a few hiccups, New Zealand have established another strong position, with openers Tom Latham and Devon Conway setting another solid foundation of 134 for the first wicket.