Tauranga [New Zealand], December 26 (ANI): Pacer Shaheen Afridi was disappointed with Pakistan's fielding on day one of the first Test at Mount Maunganui as the team dropped three catches against New Zealand on Saturday.
Pakistan started the day strongly, reducing the hosts to 13 for 2 inside 11 overs, but could only pick up one more wicket till the end of the play, as New Zealand ended with 222.
"They batted hard but I am 100 pc frustrated by the dropped catches. It's disappointing when you drop catches, and we didn't take the review (on Williamson). We did try to get wickets early on with new balls and took two wickets but if you don't take catches it will be difficult. It's a part of the game but if you need to win matches you have to take catches and have to improve the fielding. They know how to play in their conditions so it is tough, but the ball is still new and tomorrow we will come hard to take wickets as early as possible," ESPNcricinfo quoted Afridi as saying.
After the early departure of the openers -- Tom Latham (4) and Tom Blundell (5) --, Taylor came to the rescue and joined skipper Kane Williamson. The duo played cautiously and built a 120-run stand for the third wicket.
Taylor scored 70 runs including six and 10 fours. Henry Nicholls came in to bat at number five. Nicholls and Williamson then had an unbeaten 89-run partnership before the day's play came to an end. Williamson is unbeaten on 94 while Nicholls is batting on 42.
Williamson's anchor knock derailed Pakistan's hope to dominate the Kiwis after two quick wickets. New Zealand were at 222/3 at the end of the opening day. For Pakistan, Afridi bagged all three wickets and returned with the figures of 3-55 in his 20 overs.
Taylor, who became the most capped player for New Zealand, was playing Afridi for the second time in his career and acknowledged the progress the fast bowler had made since making his debut as an 18-year-old in Abu Dhabi two years ago.
"I think when we first played him, obviously I think it was his first test. He is a lot more mature now and the way he's trying to set you up, I think it's quite often a left-arm ball that doesn't necessarily swing back as much. But I thought, you know, when the ball was 50 overs old, he was still swinging. He picked and choose when to use it," he said.
"He's got a slippery bumper, you know, he's only going to get better. And I'm sure he's going to enjoy obviously this wicket. But in Christchurch as well. And I think, you know, Pakistan, they're going to see a very, very good bowler in years to come," the batsman added. (ANI)