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Pak vs NZ: McCullum's robust century leads NZ to 164-1 at tea, Day 2

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Captain Brendon McCullum smashed New Zealand's fastest test century off 78 balls after offspinner Mark Craig claimed a career-best 7-94 as Pakistan was bowled out for 351 in the third test
India TV News Desk November 28, 2014 17:42 IST
India TV News Desk

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates: Captain Brendon McCullum smashed New Zealand's fastest test century off 78 balls after offspinner Mark Craig claimed a career-best 7-94 as Pakistan was bowled out for 351 in the third test on Friday.

McCullum was on a belligerent 100 not out with 13 fours and five sixes, while Kane Williamson was 44 not out, as New Zealand raced to tea at 164-1 in just 25 overs on the second day.

Play was abandoned on Thursday after the death of Australia batsman Phillip Hughes, and the match was extended by a day.

McCullum pulverized fast bowler Mohammad Talha, 0-62, and also didn't allow Zulfiqar Babar, 0-55, to settle down by hitting the left-arm spinner for two sixes and a four in his first over.

McCullum missed Tim Southee's New Zealand record of fastest test half century by just one ball when he raced to 50 off 30 deliveries by smashing fast bowler Rahat Ali for two successive boundaries.

He took four boundaries in Talha's penultimate over before tea, and turned Babar around the wickets off the last ball before the interval to complete a magnificent 10th test century, and his first since his 302 in February against India in Wellington.

Ross Taylor held the previous New Zealand record of an 81-ball hundred, against Australia at Hamilton in 2010.

Earlier, Hafeez resumed at 178, but missed out on a maiden double century, and then Craig quickly wrapped up the innings in an extended 2 1/2-hour first session due to Friday prayers.

There were no celebrations from New Zealand players because of Hughes' passing, despite Pakistan losing wickets in quick succession.

The teams and officials wore black armbands and lined up to observe a minute of silence before play.

As another mark of respect, players from both teams put their caps on the handles of their bats and placed them alongside advertising boards near the boundary, and the New Zealanders penned the initials PH on their shirts below the Silver Fern.

Neither Southee nor Trent Boult bowled a short delivery with Hughes' death from a bouncer still fresh. The players were visibly somber at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Even McCullum was subdued when he reached his 100, with an acknowledgement to his applauding team, and a hug from Williamson.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq couldn't add to his overnight 38 before he drove at a wide Southee delivery, and was caught behind in the fourth over of the day.

Hafeez dominated the bowlers on the first day with his crisp cuts, pulls and drives, and on the verge of reaching 200 on Friday he pulled legspinner Sodhi and was out at deep midwicket off a top edge.

Hafeez faced 316 balls, hitting 25 fours and three sixes in just over seven hours of flawless batting, but his departure at 311-5 ignited the collapse, as Craig claimed all of the remaining five wickets.

Taylor became the second New Zealander to achieve 100 catches, in his 60th test, after former captain Stephen Fleming when Rahat Ali edged Craig in the slips. Taylor added one more to his tally by having last man Yasir Shah caught at the same position for 25.