Conway ton puts New Zealand in dominant position

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Conway reached three figures for the fourth time in Tests.
Conway reached three figures for the fourth time in Tests. © AFP

An unbeaten ton from Devon Conway, his fourth in Test cricket, was the lynchpin for New Zealand's domination with the bat in the first couple of sessions of the second Test.

Conway, along with fellow opener, Tom Latham made Pakistan's hunt futile for a large part of the day, putting on a 134-run stand first before Conway found another willing partner in Kane Williamson, who assisted him in an unbeaten 92-run stand through the second session.

Pakistan had little going their way, barring a couple of close shouts against each batter. While Latham, given out LBW on the field, was saved by an inside edge caught on review, the bowler Mir Hamza had another review go against him, this time against Conway, with the height denying Pakistan. On 89, Conway offered another half a chance but a diving Saud Shakeel could not hold on to a sharp chance at gully.

Barring these occasions, Pakistan were made to toil hard right through. On a pitch that had a little more grass cover, there was initial movement for the pacers but both Conway and Latham found the going comfortable to get boundaries on a regular basis.

While Hamza and his pace partner Naseem Shah were guilty of erring in lengths that allowed the openers to get going, the initiative against the lone frontline spinner Abrar Ahmed was taken by Conway. After hitting a boundary off the first ball, he proceeded to loft Ahmed for a six in his first over that put pressure on the spinner.

The boundary flow could not be culled by the returning Hasan Ali, who was promptly hit for two boundaries after a change of end. Latham was the first to get to his fifty, his 24th in Tests, while Conway followed soon after to bring up his sixth Test fifty.

The onslaught continued in the next session as well but Pakistan's hopes were raised when Naseem Shah managed to trap Latham LBW on 71. That joy was short-lived as Conway, along with Williamson, did not let up on the run-rate. Abrar Ahmed copped a majority of he caning, going for 4.63 runs per over.

Conway got his ton with a clip through midwicket, that also took New Zealand past 200 and setting up a solid foundation.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 226/1 (Tom Latham 71, Devon Conway 120*) vs Pakistan