FORMER Saltire Tom Latham scored his second century in successive Tests as New Zealand enjoyed a good start to the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai.
Latham, who played for the Scottish side in the 2013 YB40 competition, was unbeaten on 137 – eclipsing the 103 he made in the first Test defeat which was his maiden international hundred – as New Zealand finished the opening day on 243 for three after winning the toss.
The 22-year-old did get one life, coincidentally when he was on 103, when he was dropped by Azhar Ali in the gully off the bowling of Ehsan Adil, but otherwise the left-hander offered little to get the Pakistan bowlers excited.
While Latham made the bulk of New Zealand’s runs, his opening partner Brendon McCullum weighed in with a handy 43 while Kane Williamson (32) and Ross Taylor (23) also made starts before being dismissed, with Adil, Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah each claiming one wicket apiece for the “hosts”.
New Zealand will be delighted to have been able to make their opponents work hard in the field having suffered at the hands of the Pakistan batsmen in the first Test, which the Black Caps lost by 248 runs.
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Pakistan ran up a mammoth 566 for three declared in the first innings of that match, and while New Zealand are still well off that sort of score, they at least made a promising start.
Latham and McCullum set the platform with a 77-run stand for the first wicket, but that came to an end when the captain rather carelessly pulled Adil to Shan Masood just inside the deep-midwicket boundary.
McCullum had been typically aggressive, striking two sixes and four fours in his 69-ball knock, but in the end that attacking approach cost him his wicket.
Latham remained unmoved, though, and he brought up his half-century during a 76-run stand for the second wicket with Williamson, who was also on course for his own 50 when he was bowled by a superb delivery by slow left-armer Babar.
New Zealand regrouped once again, however, and another good stand, this time worth 73 between Latham and Taylor, took them up to 226, when the latter became the third wicket to fall.
Taylor had already had one let-off when, on 11, he was spilled by Azhar Ali at silly point and he almost got another reprieve as Masood nearly made a mess of catching him in the same position, but the Pakistan opener – drafted in for the match due to injuries – grabbed the ball at the second attempt.
By that stage Latham had already brought up three figures – and enjoyed an escape himself soon after recording his ton – and he powered on following the loss of his more experienced partner to help put the tourists in a decent position at stumps.
Latham has struck 11 fours and a six in his 258-ball knock, and he will resume on day two alongside Corey Anderson, who is seven not out.
Meanwhile, International Cricket Council chairman Narainswamy Srinivasan is guilty of failing to act against a player who violated a code of conduct, a Supreme Court committee said yesterday.
The committee, looking into corruption allegations in the Indian Premier League, said the suspended Indian cricket chief was not guilty of spot-fixing or impeding investigations.
It said Srinivasan was aware of the code violation, but failed to act, according to details of the report that have been made public.
“This individual (Srinivasan) along with four other BCCI officials was aware of the violation of the players’ code of conduct by individual three (name not disclosed), but no action was taken against individual three by any of the aforesaid officials who were aware of this infraction,” said the report.
The committee found Srinivasan’s son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of being in contact with illegal bookmakers.
It also noted that Meiyappan’s role as a team official was not in doubt, refuting claims by Srinivasan and other Chennai team officials that he was just a “cricket enthusiast”.
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