‘Back where we started’ after Mohammad Rizwan-Faheem Ashraf stand – Younis Khan

'Back where we started' after Mohammad Rizwan-Faheem Ashraf stand - Younis Khan


Faheem Ashraf “the potential to become the allrounder we need,” says Pakistan batting coach

On a poor day for the Pakistan batsmen across in Mount Maunganui, the two bright spots were Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf, who hit 71 and 91 respectively, and added 107 for the seventh wicket, to help their team just about avoid following on. Batting coach Younis Khan was understandably unhappy, and pointed to the batsmen not sticking to a “simple plan” to build partnerships, and asked them to learn from Kane Williamson, the opposition captain.

“It was a simple plan to take time and shift to the next gear accordingly, but we lost back-to-back wickets and didn’t get the momentum we wanted,” Khan said after the third day’s play, which ended with New Zealand 192 ahead after the first-innings exchanges. “In the end, we had that partnership around 100-plus runs, but then a good piece of fielding from New Zealand broke the momentum [Rizwan was dismissed] and we were back where we started.

“I think as a young unit we have to learn that it’s all about partnerships. You sometimes learn from the opposition as well, the way New Zealand picked up after losing two wickets on day one and how the captain took the responsibility and anchored two to three partnerships. That is where we lost it.”

After New Zealand had scored 431, Pakistan quickly slipped to 80 for 6. The 100 for the innings came off 394 balls – the seventh-slowest anywhere since 2002 for matches ESPNcricinfo has ball-by-ball data for. Rizwan and Ashraf lifted the team after that but New Zealand still hold the upper hand.

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