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Tuesday Jan 03 2023
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Imam-ul-Haq sees 'tough time' against New Zealand


Pakistans Imam-ul-Haq plays a shot during the second day of the second cricket Test match between Pakistan and New Zealand at the National Stadium in Karachi on January 3, 2023. — AFP
Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq plays a shot during the second day of the second cricket Test match between Pakistan and New Zealand at the National Stadium in Karachi on January 3, 2023. — AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan's opening batter Imam ul Haq is confident that Pakistan will overcome the remaining 295 runs deficit but warned that the experienced New Zealand side can pose a "tough challenge" to Pakistan.

Imam was unbeaten at 74 at the end of day two's play as Pakistan were 154 for the loss of three in reply to New Zealand's first innings score of 449.

In conversation with Geo News, the left-handed-batter said that the opening session will be important for both sides on day three.

"We will try to overcome the deficit and take the lead of some runs over New Zealand but we are aware that New Zealand is a tough side and they can challenge us with their tactic and mental game. We have to be strong in our batting tomorrow," said Haq.

The opening batter said that Pakistan allowed New Zealand to score more than what they had in mind.

"The way we fought back on the last session of the first day; we were hoping to bowl them out by 350. They batted well to score around 450 but we were also casual with our bowling which allowed them to score more runs," Haq said.

"There are some patches on the wicket but it is still not deteriorated as there was some grass on, however, it will get challenging and difficult later on," he said.

Haq said that he would wish to stay on the crease for the longest time but anything can happen in cricket. He credited his teammate Saud Shakil for showing great temperament.

Saud took 42 deliveries and 55 minutes to score his first run.

"It was an important moment for us, there was some reverse swing so I must say that Saud showed great temperament by staying there, not to get tempted and putting the team's cause ahead of his own runs," he said.

"Had we lost a wicket there, it would've put us under pressure," Haq said.

The batter was also involved in a mix-up which resulted in a run out of skipper Babar Azam. The opening batter said that it was a "communication error."

"It happens in cricket, we have had a similar misunderstanding in past too. It was just a communication error, Babar could not hear my call for no and kept running and came so close," he said.

Haq indicated that Babar was unhappy by saying that he will try to "appease his captain when they're back to the hotel."