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1st Test: Williamson, Taylor put NZ in driver's seat against Pak

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Taraunga (New Zealand), Dec 26 (IANS) New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson on Saturday continued his prolific run with the bat as he scored his 32nd half century to put his team in the driver’s seat on the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan at the Bay Oval.

At the end of the day’s play, the Black Caps had scored 222/3 in 87 overs, with Williamson staying unbeaten on 94 alongside Henry Nicholls who was batting at 42 at Stumps.

Put into bat, Pakistan had a great start as left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi both the openers — Tom Latham (4) and Tom Blundell (5) — with New Zealand having just 13 runs on the scoreboard.

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Veteran batsman Ross Taylor, who came to bat at number four, then stitched a 121-run partnership with Williamson and steadied the New Zealand innings. He scored 70 runs off 151 balls, with the help of 10 fours and a six, before getting caught behind by Afridi.

However, his wicket didn’t affect the New Zealand skipper who continued batting with utmost ease and collected runs. Alongwith Nicholls, Williamson has added 89 runs and have made sure the hosts went into Stumps, having the upper hand.

For Pakistan, Afridi was the lone wicket-taker as he returned with figures of 3/55 from his 20 overs. Mohammad Abbas, Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah and Yasir Shah all went wicketless.

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Brief scores: New Zealand 222/3 at Stumps on Day One (Kane Williamson 94*, Ross Taylor 70; Shaheen Afridi 3/55)

–IANS

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