Tom Blundell Achieves Rare Feat During 1st Test vs Pakistan

NZ wicketkeeper stumps out Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq© AFP

It was a day of firsts in Karachi during Day 1 of the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand as Kiwi wicketkeeper Tom Blundell produced a feat never seen before in 145 years of Men’s Test cricket. While history was made prior to the toss with New Zealand playing in Pakistan for a Test series for the first time since 2002 and veteran Sarfaraz Ahmed earning a recall for what was his first Test on home soil in his 50th appearance, what then occurred during the first session was a first in Men’s Test cricket.

Newly appointed skipper Tim Southee introduced veteran spinner Ajaz Patel into the attack in the fourth over and the move paid dividends almost immediately as Abdullah Shafique was out stumped by Blundell for seven. Three overs later, the Kiwis had their second wicket and Shan Masood perished this time, with the left-hander stumped by Blundell off Michael Bracewell’s delivery. It meant the first two dismissals of the Test had been stumpings, a feat which had never been seen previously at the Test level for men.

It is the second time it had occurred overall, with the Women’s Test between Australia and the West Indies in Jamaica in 1976 also commencing with two stumping dismissals.

Bracewell dismissed the usually reliable Imam-ul-Haq shortly after – the Pakistan opener was out caught – giving New Zealand an excellent start to the Test match and to the series.

Spinners Michael Bracewell and Ajaz Patel grabbed three wickets between them to leave Pakistan struggling on 115-4 at lunch Monday on the opening day of the first Test in Karachi.

Bracewell dismissed Shan Masood for three and Imam-ul-Haq for 24, while Patel took the early wicket of Abdullah Shafique for seven after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat.

In the penultimate over before lunch, fast bowler Tim Southee dismissed Saud Shakeel for 22 to complete a successful session for the tourists, playing their first Test series in Pakistan since 2002.

At the break, skipper Babar Azam was unbeaten on 54 — his 27th Test half-century — and the recalled Sarfaraz Ahmed was on four.

With AFP Inputs

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