ABU DHABI - Ahmed Shehzad hit a career-best 176 while Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq struck unbeaten centuries before Pakistan declared their first innings on 566 for three wickets in the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Monday. In a lop-sided contest between bat and ball at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Azhar Ali's 87 was the lowest score by a top-five Pakistani batsman while the bottom half of their batting order did not get a chance to bat.

Shehzad, who had added 178 runs with M Hafeez to give Pakistan a flying start on Sunday, raised 169 for the second wicket with Azhar to put his team on top. Continuing the good work, Younus (100 not out) hit his fourth century in five innings while Misbah (102 not out) struck his third successive Test hundred in a 193-run unbroken partnership. Misbah also become fifth Pakistani batsmen after Zaheer Abbas, Mudassar Nazar, Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan to hit three consecutive Test centuries in three innings.

Openers Brendon McCullum (nine) and Tom Latham (five) survived seven overs to guide New Zealand to 15 at stumps on day two, with the team still needing 352 more runs just to avoid the follow-on. Overnight batsman Shehzad stepped out to hit off-spinner Mark Craig for a six and took three runs off Tim Southee to bring up his 150, bettering his previous best of 147 against Sri Lanka at Sharjah earlier this year.

Corey Anderson finally got the breakthrough in the final over before lunch when he sent down a bouncer and Shehzad missed the line attempting a hook shot. The ball hit the side of his helmet and the overbalancing batsman dropped his bat which hit the stump before a dazed-looking Shehzad needed to be helped off the field. Shehzad hit 17 boundaries and a six in his 371-ball knock.

Azhar was denied a third successive Test century by a sharp-turning Ish Sodhi delivery which pitched outside leg stump, beat the bat and hit the top of the off-stump. The India-born leg-spinner could have claimed Misbah's wicket as well but Craig could not get his hand to a skier on the first occasion and Jimmy Neesham spilled another in Sodhi's next over.

Younus, who scored 106, 103 not out, 213 and 46 in his last four innings, continued his dream run and his hundred came when Southee dropped him off McCullum at short mid-on. Younus hit ten fours in his 141-ball knock. Captain Misbah reached his hundred in the same over and immediately declared the innings. Misbah, who smashed twin hundreds in the second Test against Australia, knocked nine fours and a six off 162 balls.

Younus said he wanted to keep his good run intact. "Everyday I wake up I promise myself to keep scoring like this," said Younus. "It’s all about motivation and I am happy that I am keeping that and with that scoring big."

Misbah survived two chances, one on 17 and the other on 20 as fielders failed to reach uppish shots with Ish Sodhi the luckless bowler on both occasions. Anderson was the best bowler with 2-68 while Sodhi finished with 2-162. The New Zealanders paid dearly for giving Shehzad a life on Sunday. He had been on 16 when wicketkeeper BJ Watling failed to stump him off the bowling of spinner Mark Craig.

Craig went wicket-less in his 33 overs. Shehzad, 126 overnight, took some time to open up on Monday. But he then hit a straight six off Craig before running a three to surpass his previous best of 147 against Sri Lanka in Sharjah earlier this year. The remaining two Tests will be played in Dubai (November 17-21) and Sharjah (November 26-30).



(OVERNIGHT: 269-1):

M Hafeez c and b Anderson    96

Ahmed Shehzad hit wicket b Anderson    176

Azhar Ali b Sodhi    87

Younus Khan not out    100

Misbah ul-Haq not out    102

EXTRAS: (lb4, nb1)    5

TOTAL: (for 3 wkts dec; 170.5 overs)    566

FOW: 1-178, 2-347, 3-373

BOWLING: Boult 26-7-62-0, Southee 23-5-62-0, Craig 33-1-126-0, Sodhi 43-6-162-1, Anderson 19-3-68-2, Neesham 16-0-50-0, McCullum 10.5-1-32-0


T Latham not out    5

B McCullum not out    9

EXTRAS: (nb1)    1

TOTAL: (for no loss, 7 overs)    15

BOWLING: R Ali 3-2-1-0, I Khan 1-0-4-0, Z Babar 2-0-6-0, M Hafeez 1-0-4-0

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: Rodney Tucker (AUS) and Ranmore Martinesz (SRI)

TV UMPIRE: Paul Reiffel (AUS)