Pakistan eyes victory in first Test against New Zealand

Doug Mendoza
November 19, 2018

Azhar and Sohail will resume their respective innings on 10 and 22 runs when they come out to bat on day two. Those traits came in handy for New Zealand, when he, alongside Nicholls, whose contribution was in no way any less valuable, ensured their side did not fall away after three quick wickets in the morning session had put Pakistan right on top.

New Zealand recorded one of the closest wins in Test history as they beat Pakistan by four runs on day four of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

Imam-ul-Haq was 25 not out and Mohammad Hafeez was eight not out were at the crease and Pakistan will need another 139 runs with all ten wickets and two days to play after New Zealand were dismissed for 249 in their second innings.

An early wicket or two before stumps could have given the Black Caps a realistic hope - but so would have a lead of over 250 - which looked a real possibility when Watling and Nicholls combined for their stellar stand.

Henry Nicholls hammered 55 runs off 171 deliveries with three boundaries.

It was the narrowest margin of defeat for Pakistan and also the narrowest margin of victory for New Zealand.

This series is the first away test series since 2016 for them so that recent record does flatter them a touch given the matches were all at home although they last played in UAE with numerous same players and they performed well as they drew 1-1 in a three-match series.

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Watling survived the last over before lunch when he successfully reversed an lbw decision against him off Bilal Asif's offspin as the television replays showed the ball would have missed the leg stump.

"The attitude, certainly today and throughout the game, was brilliant", said New Zealand captain Kane Williamson who now has nine wins in his 18 Tests in charge. The five-day format has been under threat from the more vibrant Twenty20 and one-day internationals and the mushrooming of the leagues around the world. Debutant Ajaz Patel was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with figures of 5 for 59 to help the Kiwis take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Shafiq made a cultured 45, becoming the 11th Pakistani to reach 4 000 runs in Test cricket, but his dismissal in the last over before lunch, edging Neil Wagner to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, changed the game as Pakistan lost their final seven wickets for just 41.

Pakistan looked set for victory.

After this, no batsman could form a partnership as New Zealand's innings kept falling apart.

Pakistan were 130 for 3 chasing 176.

Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah both took five wickets. Six times they have been bowled out under 200 in this decade, twice in 2017 alone.

Other reports by GizPress

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