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Pakistan batsmen fight hard in Hamilton

AAP logoAAP 29/11/2016

Pakistan have made a watchful start as they seek to either salvage a draw or launch an improbable fifth-day run chase in the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, going to lunch at 0-76 on Tuesday.

Set an imposing fourth-innings victory target of 369, openers Sami Aslam (32 not out) and Azhar Ali (36no) successfully navigated the opening session - the first wicketless session of the match - at Seddon Park.

Pakistan, behind 1-0 in the series after losing the opening Test in Christchurch, need a further 293 runs for an unlikely victory.

The highest successful fourth innings chase at Seddon Park was Australia's 4-212 in early 2000.

However, with 62 overs remaining and all 10 wickets in hand, the tourists at least have a solid base in which to chase hard over the final two sessions.

It was a slow morning session, captain Ali taking 22 balls to get off the mark and in the first hour's play, Pakistan scored 17 runs.

New Zealand were unable to beat the bat on a now placid pitch, with only a few balls keeping low.

In the 22nd over they wasted a DRS review when they appealed for a catch off Ali, where he swayed back from a Matt Henry short ball.

Replays showed the ball went nowhere near the bat.

Another review before the break was refused because New Zealand took too long to request it, and the replays showed Aslam would have been out lbw off Colin de Grandhomme.

New Zealand, with scores of 271 and 5(dec)313-5, set Pakistan, dismissed for 216 in their first innings, 369 to level the two-Test series.

Pakistan need to win to remain in second place in ICC'sTest rankings - a draw or loss will drop them to fourth.

A win will mean New Zealand would rise from seventh to sixth. A draw means they remain seventh but with a 1-0 lead in the series it will give them their first series victory over Pakistan since 1985.

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