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Pakistan batsman Mohammad
Hafeez was the key protagonist
in damaging New Zealand’s
prospects of a drawn series on the
opening day of the third test.
Pakistan reached 281 for three
at stumps, having made the most
of winning the toss and batting in
After missing the second test
with a hamstring strain, Hafeez
cultivated runs all around the
wicket as part of his seventh test
century. With 178, he is 18 runs
from equalling his highest test
On 117 and with the total
at 175 for three he survived a
decision review from a Daniel
Vettori delivery in which the ball
appeared to deviate off his bat.
The lack of sponsorship for this
series, and subsequently Hotspot
and Snicko technology, meant
Martinesz had no option but to
give the batsman — and umpire
Paul Reiffel — the benefit of the
Hafeez’s competence against the
New Zealand attack, particularly
in the final session when Pakistan
added 95 without loss, meant
the perseverance which had paid
dividends by tea was diluted.
Compounding matters was a
dropped catch by B J Watling
when captain Misbah-ul-Haq
was on 20 and the score was 235
for three. Ish Sodhi got Misbah
to take the bait; Watling snatched
and spilt it.
Earlier, New Zealand had
stymied the flow with quick
wickets to Mark Craig and Vettori
after an 87-run second wicket
stand between Hafeez and Azhar
Ali. The pair largely justified the
inclusion of three spinners in
the playing XI but Pakistan’s late
flourish means judgment must be
reserved until the second day.
Before the toss the New Zealand
bowlers cast furtive glances at
captain Brendon McCullum as
he prepared to call. They had
every right to be anxious. They
were practising their bowling on
an adjacent pitch and the sheen of
the batting-friendly clay would’ve
been blinding in the sun.
Down went the coin, McCullum
lost, and up went Pakistan’s
chances of dominating this test.
Openers Shan Masood and
Hafeez provided early evidence.
The time they had to play
deliveries brought to mind the
‘ bullet time’ scene in The Matrix.
Still, a solitary batting glitch can
be costly, as Masood discovered
when he failed to cover a Craig
delivery from around the wicket
Craig also lured Azhar Ali into
a false stroke wide of off stump
and Ross Taylor picked up the
catch, taking him to 99 for his
career. At 0.9 per innings Taylor
has the second best ratio behind
Australia’s Bob Simpson (0.94)
for fielders with more than 70.
Craig, with figures of two for
67 from 16 overs was the most
aggressive of the bowlers albeit
at relative expense. However, he
used the crease to create more
varied angles and changed his
Vettori, in his record 112th
test and first bowl in the format
for 28 months, got an arm ball
to confuse Younis Khan on five.
Younis looked so bemused he
even wasted a review. It was his
lowest test score in more than 13
The Pakistanis showed Vettori
respect for the most part although
healthy cheek when he lofted a
pull shot for six over mid-wicket.
It warned that Vettori’s reputation
is no insurance against attack.
Generally the pace bowlers must
have felt like they were bowling
into a stack of cushions, albeit
firm ones, given the lack of carry.
Bending their backs translated to
expending more energy which
equalled tired bodies at stumps.
It was nothing an ice bath can’t
fix. At least a zephyr across the
stadium throughout the day
helped wick away sweat.
enthusiasm was not deterred by
what shapes as a relentless slog.
The inclination to drop the
shoulders, chins and spirits
would have been tempting but
chatter was sustained, helped
by McCullum’s attacking fields.
What ’s he got to lose? New
Zealand are 1-0 down in the
series and must do something to
spark momentum. — N ZM E
Champion golfer Lydia Ko has touched
down in Auckland to cheers and applause
from family and friends.
The teen golf sensation returned to her
home city this morning after winning the
season-ending LPGA Tour Championship
tournament in a dramatic sudden-death play-
off in Florida earlier the week.
She banked a massive $1.9 million with the
win but looked like your average teenager as
she came through the arrival gates dressed in
grey sweatpants and a casual pink t-shirt.
Waiting family and friends ran to hug her
and she had her hands full with two large
bouquets of flowers. They cheered and chanted
for her as she arrived home after her successful
Speaking briefly to media at the airport, Ko
said she was glad to be home.
“It feels good to actually be home and seeing
my friends and I can get out of the tour life for
a while,” she said.
Her break will be short-lived, however, as she
is scheduled to play a charity golf tournament
in Takapuna this weekend and will only be in
Auckland for a week.
“I was really hoping to not play any golf for
a while, but I think it’s going to be fun and I
really enjoyed doing a charity event last year,”
she said about the golf event which she is
playing for free.
“I think it ’s going to be good, playing all the
juniors and then later with the adults.”
Ko would not say if she would be back to
play the New Zealand Open next year.
“I’m really not sure yet,” she said.
“It ’s actually clashing with one of the LPGA
events, so I’m not really sure, we haven’t
discussed the schedule yet.”
Ko said she had had a “phenomenal” year,
but admitted the touring life could be “really
tough”. “I mean, I’ve had a fantastic rookie year
and I wouldn’t have imagined myself to be in
this situation,” she said.
“It ’s just been a phenomenal year and I’m
just going to rest up and hopefully have a good
year next year.”
Despite her attempts to stay low-key, the
golf champ caused a bit of a stir at the airport
with people stopping to take photographs and
film the cheers from her family.
She left the airport side-by-side with her
friend and followed by her grinning family
and supporters. — NZ ME
Thursday, November 27, 2014
New Zealand Eric Murray has been
named the world’s top-ranked male
rower for 2014 with his partner in
crime, Hamish Bond, not far behind
in second place.
The rankings were released overnight
on the World Rowing website and
reflect Murray and Bond ’s dominance
on the international stage.
The pair have not lost a race since
they joined forces in 2009 and they
also won gold medals in the men’s
pair and coxed pair at this year’s world
championships in the Netherlands
in August. They also own the world’s
quickest times in both disciplines. The
rankings system is calculated from
results based on the previous three
years with the most weight given to
the current season. Olympic victories
hold more sway followed by the world
Top 10 male rowers.— 1 . Eric
Murray (NZL); 2. Hamish Bond
(NZL); 3. Andrew Triggs Hodge
(GBR); 4. Alex Gregory (GBR); 5.
Pete Reed (GBR); 6. Valent Sinkovic
(CRO); 7. Martin Sinkovic (CRO);
8. Ondrej Synek (CZE); 9= Kasper
Winther, 9= Morten Joergensen
Top 10 female rowers. — 1 . Caroline
Lind (USA); 2. Helen Glover (GBR);
3. Meghan Musnicki (USA); 4.
Annekatrin Thiele (GER); 5. Carina
Baer (GER); 6. Heather Stanning
(GBR); 7. Kim Crow (AUS); 8.
Amanda Polk (USA); 9. Grace Luczak
(USA); 10= Victoria Opitz (USA),
10= Lauren Schmetterling (USA).
Murray named top dog
Victorious Ko back
on home turf
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Family and friend welcome Lydia Ko home this morning at Auckland Airport.
Hughes still in critical condition
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke
has arrived again at the bedside of his
stricken mate, Phillip Hughes, as the opening
batsman enters his third day in intensive care.
Hughes has been in a critical condition in
an induced coma at Sydney ’s St Vincent ’s
Hospital after being struck by a ball during
South Australia’s Sheffield Shield match
with NSW at the SCG on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old has undergone surgery to
relieve pressure on his brain, and doctors said
they expected to know the outcome of the
procedure later today.
His family are at his bedside, waiting
and watching for any improvement in his
Clarke arrived at the Darlinghurst hospital
just after 6am today. He had only left the
hospital just after midnight, following players
such as Brett Lee, Shane Watson, Phil Jaques
and Mitchell Starc. Vice-captain Brad
Haddin and Moises Henriques were among
the stream of cricketers to visit Hughes in
hospital yesterday, joining Hughes’ family at
the former test player’s bedside.
Emotions ran high as supporters shed tears
and shared hugs. Hughes’ life-threatening
injuries sent shock waves through the
cricketing world, with messages of support
pouring in from current and former
Australian cricketers as well as players from
around the world. — AAP
Hafeez damages NZ’s prospects
PICTURE: Getty Images
Pakistani batsman Mohammad Hafeez plays a shot as Black Cap
wicketkeeper BJ Watling prepares to catch in today’s test at the
Sharjah cricket stadium in Sharjah.
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