New Zealand 145-3 at tea on day 2, 2nd test against Pakistan

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Pakistan’s accurate bowling attack tied down New Zealand between lunch and tea Monday on the second day of the second cricket test.

Even Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain who has had scores of 251 and 129 in his last two innings, was hard-pressed to accelerate the scoring.

New Zealand added 79 runs for the loss of Ross Taylor’s wicket in the second session and was 145-3 at tea. Williamson had scored 40 in 149 minutes, Henry Nicholls scored 25 in 101 minutes and their 50 partnership spanned 105 deliveries.

A little flourish which brought three boundaries in the last three overs before tea bumped the run rate up to 2.8.

The first hour of the middle session produced only 30 runs from 14 overs as Taylor fell for 12 to the bowling of Mohammad Abbas and Williamson and Nicholls worked to staunch the fall of wickets.

New Zealand also lost the wickets of Tom Blundell and Tom Latham in the half hour before lunch after the pair had shared a 52-run opening stand. Taylor’s dismissal left New Zealand 71-3 and under pressure as it replied to Pakistan’s first innings of 297.

Nicholls also seemed to have fallen soon after lunch. When he was 3 and New Zealand was 74-3, Nicholls edged a ball from Shaheen Afridi to wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan.

Nicholls was walking when the television umpire called the front foot no ball by Afridi, which gave the New Zealander a very fortunate reprieve.

Naseem Shah later beat Nicholls with a yorker angled into the batsman which passed under the bat and grazed the off stump on the way to Rizwan.

The incidents were reminiscent of the start of Nicholl’s innings in the second test against the West Indies this summer when he was dropped three times on the way to 50 but went on the make 174, a career-best score.

Even Williamson, imperious in recent winnings, found batting difficult. The Pakistan bowlers, especially Afridi, generated pace and hit a relentlessly testing line. They stifled the back foot shots Nicholls and Williamson enjoy and worked on a full length outside off stump which made driving perilous.

Pakistan kept in two gullies at times to Williamson, who was aware of the danger and curbed his shot making outside off stump.

The pitch at Hagley Park mostly has retained its pace from the first day and the batsmen have been wary of any movement away from the bat.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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