Fielding errors cost Pakistan dear again as they trail New Zealand by 354 runs and Naseem Shah was left rueing missed chances.

The third day of the second Test of Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand came to a close with New Zealand firmly on top.

The Kiwis declared with a mammoth score of 659/6, courtesy of the skipper Kane Williamson‘s double ton, 157 from Henry Nicholls, and 102 not out from Daryl Mitchell. The common aspect of all three innings was that each of them was dropped at least once. The cherry on top for Mitchell who scored his maiden century was that he was caught off a no-ball as well.

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It will be a Herculean task for Pakistan to fight back, but things could have been so different had Mitchell and Nicholls been caught from Shah’s bowling.

“I did have assistance from the pitch as a fast bowler. Firstly, they played really well. Secondly, we didn’t bowl good lines and dropped some catches. Likewise, we couldn’t build momentum in the game. It was definitely a learning experience”, said Shah speaking to NZC post-game.

Dropping seven catches in an innings is a crime in today’s cricket and seeing the batsmen in question making triple-digit scores added salt to the wound. Apart from dropping catches, the fielders lost balls to the lights and evidently had difficulty adjusting to the conditions.

Pakistan will now have to move on fast and focus on their batting. Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, and the skipper Mohammad Rizwan will have step up on Day Four.

For Naseem Shah it will be a tough night’s sleep wondering what might have been.

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