Tauranga [New Zealand], December 26 (ANI): Skipper Kane Williamson hit a fighting unbeaten 94 and senior campaigner Ross Taylor scored 70 to help New Zealand survive the Pakistan bowling attack on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test here on Saturday.
New Zealand ended the day on a solid 222/3, courtesy Williamson's knock and a well made 42 by Henry Nicholls. With the hosts looking in a dismal position at 13/2, the Kiwi skipper stood up and got counted. For Pakistan, it was a one-man show as Shaheen Shah Afridi picked all the three wickets -- first dismissing the Kiwi openers and then sending back Taylor.
Put in to bat first, New Zealand got off to the worst possible start as Shaheen removed Tom Latham in the opening over of the Test.
Riding high on confidence from his recent outing in international cricket, the pacer came back all guns blazing and then dismissed Tom Blundell. The wicket-keeper batsman edged the ball to slips to leave his team in trouble during the first session.
However, Williamson and Taylor steadily batted through till lunch on the first day and had seemed to have recovered from the early blows. The second session fully belonged to the Kiwis as Pakistan went wicket-less to see the duo bringing up their tenth hundred-plus stand in the longest format of the game. The duo put on a fighting 120-run stand for the third wicket to keep Pakistan bowlers at bay.
New Zealand lost Taylor at the start of the third session but Williamson and Nicholls ensured the Kiwis didn't suffer any more hiccups as they stitched an unbroken 89-run stand.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 223/3 (Kane Williamson 94*, Ross Taylor 70; Shaheen Afridi 3-55) (ANI)