Cricket: New Zealand Blown Apart In Wellington Wind

Richard O'HaganCorrespondent IIJanuary 15, 2011

Ross Taylor made 78, but it was still Pakistan's day in Wellington
Ross Taylor made 78, but it was still Pakistan's day in WellingtonMarty Melville/Getty Images

It was another disappointing day for New Zealand, as a combination of poor concentration, bad judgment and, at times, superb bowling left them struggling at 246-6 by close of play on the first day of the second Test in Wellington.

New Zealand's problems began in the first over, when Brendon McCullum shouldered arms to a ball from Umar Gul which cut back in and trapped him leg before. McCullum may have been a touch unlucky, as replays showed that the ball was likely to clear middle stump, but the balance was redressed shortly after when umpire Daryl Harper failed to spot an edge behind from Martin Guptill.

New Zealand had taken the strange decision to omit opener Tim McIntosh in favour of all-rounder James Franklin—it was the batting that was their problem in Hamilton, after all—and this meant young Kane Williamson being promoted to No. 3.

He began brightly and, at one point, nonchalantly drove for four whilst blowing bubbles from his gum, but on 21 he gave the first of five catches to wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal.

Thereafter, New Zealand's batsmen committed the cardinal sin in Test cricket of beginning to build partnerships and then getting out. Guptill put on 52 with Ross Taylor, the latter finally finding form after a long barren spell, before he and Jesse Ryder fell to successive balls from Tanvir Ahmed, who was bowling superbly despite the strong breeze.

That left the hosts in trouble on 98-4 and, although Taylor and Franklin rebuilt the innings slowly, both fell within 12 runs of each other.

Taylor's departure for a welcome, but less than fluent 78, left the score at 180-6. Pakistan's bowlers tired towards the end of the day—unsurprisingly, given that one of them was always bowling into a wind which was gusting at over 40mph.

That enabled wicketkeeper Reece Young and captain Daniel Vettori to put on 66 for the seventh wicket and restore some respectability to the scoreline. In the end, though, it was another excellent day for Pakistan and another poor one for New Zealand