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Hamilton pitch for quicks to savour

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/11/2016

Matt Henry's likely return to the Black Caps' Test team comes on a Seddon Park pitch set to quicken a fast bowler's pulse. © REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri Matt Henry's likely return to the Black Caps' Test team comes on a Seddon Park pitch set to quicken a fast bowler's pulse. Both New Zealand and Pakistan feel they have a royal chance to win their cricket clash in Hamilton - with the Seddon Park pitch being talked up as a fast bowler's paradise.

The hosts hold a 1-0 advantage in the two-match series after an eight-wicket win in Christchurch and are hoping to seal their first series victory over Pakistan since 1985.

The tourists are hoping to extend a seven series unbeaten streak.

Both sides have suffered pre-match blows; Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq out because of the death of his father-in-law and New Zealand losing key quick Trent Boult to a knee injury.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast for Friday in Hamilton is rain, but it should improve on subsequent days.

The Christchurch Test was decided in just over two-and-a-half days worth of play and the portents are for another result.

"I think it'll swing around a little bit more than it did in Christchurch. I am sure the swing bowlers from both teams will look forward to that, said batsman Ross Taylor, although he noted the pitch was a lighter green.

Against Sri Lanka last year the Hamilton pitch also had a bit of bounce and carry.

Boult was a big loss but Taylor said his likely replacement, Matt Henry, was probably the pick of the quick bowlers on the recent tour of India.

"Our pace attack is world class in these conditions and hopefully we can extract whatever swing and bounce and seam that this wicket produces."

He also said the Kiwi batsmen were now more keen to take on moving wickets.

"A few years ago no guys would want to go and bat in a green net where now there's a green net here in Hamilton and all the boys want to go and bat in that net.

"To test yourselves out it's no use going out and batting on a flat wicket when you know it's going to move a little bit out there on day one and two."

Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq, who top scored with 83 when Pakistan routed New Zealand by 10 wickets at the same ground in 2011, was pleased to be back.

He also believed it will be a bowler-friendly wicket and compared it to domestic wickets in Pakistan.

"It's a good challenge for us as a batsman and we are very looking forward to scoring runs, to be positive on this wicket."

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