New Zealand dominate Pakistan despite Wagner injury

Not even a broken toe could stop New Zealand’s pace attack dominating day three of the first Test against Pakistan, but their efforts to quickly wrap up the innings were slowed by Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf’s late century stand Monday, reports AFP.

As intermittent showers and an unseasonal hail storm disrupted proceedings at Mount Maunganui, the Black Caps’ pace foursome took five for 50 in the first two sessions before Pakistan rallied to be all out for 239 at stumps, still 192 in arrears.

Rizwan and Ashraf provided a face-saving partnership for Pakistan with 107 for the seventh wicket before Rizwan was run out for 71 by Mitchell Santner’s smart underarm throw from square leg.

Ashraf soldiered on to a career-best 91 before he was the last wicket to fall. Kyle Jamieson returned the best figures for New Zealand with three for 35, while Neil Wagner ignored the pain from a broken toe to charge in for 21 overs to take two for 50.

He hobbled off at stumps describing it as one of the toughest days of his career and revealed he needed pain killers to keep going.

“After the first rain break I just went ‘dammit I can’t bear the pain’ and I got a jab and that took the pain away a little bit… but it started wearing off pretty quickly,” said Wagner, who broke a toe on his right foot when batting on day two.

“Injuries happen and it’s unlucky but I can still do things and run and it’s not going to stop me. It’s sore and it’s bloody uncomfortable but it’s just one of those things you’ve got to deal with and I still felt that I didn’t want to let my teammates down.”

New Zealand need to win both Tests against Pakistan to be in with a chance to make the World Test Championship final in June, and Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan said that would put added pressure on the Black Caps going into their second innings on Tuesday.

“If New Zealand want to win this Test match they should do some brave decisions so we are expecting there will be an early declaration and we are ready for that,” Khan said.

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