Warm up match ends in draw

Pakistan emerged with some credit as their three-day tour cricket match against a New Zealand XI petered out to a predictably tame draw at Whangarei today.

The two teams called a truce shortly after the drinks break midway through the second session with the New Zealanders on 111 for four in their second innings, leading overall by 208 runs.

But the tourists could take some satisfaction from their performance in their only shakedown before the first test against New Zealand starts at Hamilton on Friday.

Having been outplayed on the opening day when Brendon McCullum crafted a fine 206 in the hosts' first innings of 384, the Pakistanis had cause to be pleased with their response which began disastrously as they slumped to 39 for four.

Skipper Misbah ul-Haq led the rearguard action with his 33rd first-class century enabling Pakistan to reach 287.

Resuming this morning on 99 with his team on 234 for eight, Misbah duly ticked off the single required to reach his milestone before eventually departing for 126 after close to six hours at the crease.

But no other batsman bettered the 35 managed by wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, which leaves coach Waqar Younis no choice but to call for a series of net sessions for his batsmen ahead of the first of two tests.

Waqar would have been pleased with the form of seamer Umar Gul, who backed up his first innings haul of three wickets to claim another two today as the New Zealanders faltered at the top of their second innings.

Gul bowled both Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson in the space of three balls, to end with two for 19, before part-timer Younis Khan accounted for stubborn opener Tim McIntosh, who followed his half-century on Sunday by spending 136 minutes at the crease for his 26.

James Franklin made a brisk 30 then wicketkeeper Reece Young and Tim Southee chipped in with 19 not out and 15 not out respectively before the teams called time.

Day 2: NZ XI on top at the end of day two

A shadow New Zealand test cricket team continued to tick all the right boxes against Pakistan in Whangarei today.

A New Zealand 11, containing many of the players sure to feature in the first test starting at Hamilton on Friday, were again in a productive mood on the second day of the three-day tour match at Cobham Oval.

Opener Brendon McCullum starred yesterday by making 206, and today it was the turn of evergreen fast bowler Chris Martin to rattle Pakistan's cage as they were reduced to 234 for eight in response to the home side's first innings of 384.

Martin, 36 and in his first meaningful match since the test segment of the tour of India ended in November, sliced through the Pakistani top order as he made the new ball talk before ending the day with figures of three for 52 off 14 overs.

Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar and Younis Khan were all dispatched at minimal cost by Martin, who induced three edges behind to wicketkeeper Reece Young, as the tourists teetered at 22 for three then 39 for four before Misbah ul-haq initiated a fightback to end the day one run short of his 33rd first-class century.

Misbah, another 36-year-old who has been unable to hold down a test spot, should have done enough to warrant selection for the first of two tests against New Zealand as he made 99 not out over 275 minutes, helping himself to 10 fours and three sixes.

Martin was generally happy with his day's work and said the failure of the Pakistani top order might prey on the tourists' minds as the first test approached.

"I watch the guys in our dressing room and if they don't get what they need out of a warmup game they go into that first game (test) a little bit edgy.

"I know that a couple of their guys will not have had any time in the middle, they wouldn't have had a hit, so that is at least to our advantage."

Misbah lacked solid support although wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal hit a breezy 35 as the two put on 57 for the sixth wicket before left-arm seamer James Franklin trapped Akmal leg before wicket.

Despite Martin's early flurry of activity, the New Zealand 11's most impressive bowler was left-arm spinner Dan Vettori, who demanded respect as he wheeled down 16 tight overs to bag figures of three for 26.

Earlier, the New Zealanders did not kick on after resuming on 342 for four, adding only an additional 42 runs as the middle and lower order failed to capitalise on McCullum's first day heroics.

Pace bowler Sohail Tanvir took four of the wickets to fall today to record his team's best figures of four for 63 while Umar Gul claimed three for 61.

Day 1: McCullum hits double century on day one

A swashbuckling double century from opener Brendon McCullum saw a New Zealand XI through to 342 for four at stumps on the first day of a three-day warm-up match against Pakistan at Whangarei today.

McCullum, who didn't play in the recent three Twenty20 matches between the two teams, was in good touch before he was dismissed for 206 off 218 balls.

He and Tim McIntosh put on 162 for the first wicket, and were scoring at just under 4.5 runs an over when McIntosh was caught by Azhar Ali off Abdur Rehman for 51.

BJ Watling took over the anchor role as McCullum laid waste to the Pakistani bowlers, slapping 20 fours and five sixes before he was caught by Umar Gul off Asad Shafiq in the 82nd over.

James Franklin, on 17, and Dean Browlie, with 11, were the unbeaten batsmen at stumps.

Wahab Riaz, Sajeed Ajmal, Rehman and Gul shared bowling honours in picking up a wicket apiece after New Zealand won the toss.

Both teams are using 12 players each for the warm-up game ahead of the upcoming two-test series, but are fielding near full-strength sides.

McCullum said the body had held up well today and he had no thoughts of retiring out.

"Hopefully I can can carry this form into series. I feel pretty good, a period away keeps you hungry and I'm looking forward to making a contribution in the test series."

It was another chance to develop his partnership with Tim McIntosh as test openers that could not be passed up, he added.

"We have had some we had some good ones (opening partnerships) and a couple of not so good ones so it's a good opportunity to work on it.

"Any chance to build on it has got to be taken especially with an attack like this one."


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