Kyle Jamieson claimed his third five-wicket bag in only his sixth test to help New Zealand counteract an assertive Pakistan batting performance Sunday on the first day of the second test.
Jamieson finished with 5-69 to go with his 5-45 against India last February and his 5-34 against the West Indies last month, checking the momentum of a Pakistan team which batted well in demanding conditions after losing the toss.
Azhar Ali made 93, captain Mohammad Rizwan 61 and Faheem Ashraf 48 as Pakistan made 297, a competitive total on a pitch which was still producing bounce and seam late in the day.
Jamieson claimed the wickets of Rizwan and Faheem along with those of Abid Ali (25), Haris Sohail (1) and Fawad Alam (2) to check Pakistan’s progress at critical stages when they seemed to be gaining the upper hand.
The tall right-armer now has 30 wickets from 11 test innings at an average which is just a tick over 14. On top of that, he boasts a batting average of 49 with one half century.
His bowling performance epitomized the difficult batting conditions that Pakistan contended with, and mostly surmounted, after losing the toss. The pitch at Hagley Oval retained pace and bounce throughout the day and the ball also swung considerably, even late in the day. Jamieson was able to make the ball rear dangerously from just short of length and to swing both ways.
That might have motivated Rizwan to play his especially attacking innings. He hit three consecutive fours from the bowling of Trent Boult just after lunch to announce his intentions and his 61 contained 11 fours or 44 runs from boundaries.
“I think we bowled pretty well as a unit in some helpful but pretty challenging conditions as well,” Jamieson said. “There were some challenges with the run-ups and the footing and the way they played with that positive intent.
“I think the nature of the surface . . . if your variation gets a little bit too full or too wide that gives scoring opportunities to them. I think we’ve seen here in the past that while things can go quick from a wicket-taking perspective, runs tend to flow as well.”
Tim Southee dismissed Shan Masood (0) in the third over of the day with a late in-swinger which struck him on the toes of front foot and made the lbw decision, confirmed by the television umpire, a formality.
Azhar then put on 62 for the second wicket with Abid in a partnership which began to tip the first session in Pakistan’s favor.
Jamieson removed Abid, Sohail and Fawad in the space of six overs before lunch, causing Pakistan to slip from 61-1 for 88-4 at the break.
Rizwan and Azhar then put on 88 for the fifth wicket during a second session which was interrupted for 40 minutes by rain. Jamieson returned to break the partnership, dismissing Rizwan whose counter-punching innings again had put Pakistan in a strong position at 171-4.
Rizwan’s 60 ball half century was his sixth in 11 tests and his fifth in consecutive innings.
Azhar added a further 56 with Faheem before falling to Matt Henry in sight of his 18th test century and after he had anchored the Pakistan innings for 271 minutes.
Faheem looked threatening and was closing on his second half century of the series when he fell to Jamieson at 260-7.
Zafar Gohar made 34 after being handed a surprising debut more than a year since his last first-class match. Gohar, a left-arm spinner, was named in place of leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
Gohar batted well for 85 minutes before hooking a short ball from Tim Southee to Jamieson, again in the action at backward square.
Shaheen Afridi followed soon after for four, caught by Henry Nicholls at gully to give Boult his first success of the day in his 20th over.
Boult wrapped up the innings when he dismissed Naseem Sham for 12.