Abu Dhabi Test: Pakistan close in on victory against New Zealand

George Worker

Pakistan succumbed to debutant spinner Ajaz Patel's five-wicket haul and lost the first Test against New Zealand by four runs on Monday. 175 was as much as they could manage, with Hasan returning to join Yasir with five wickets to his name, cleaning up Ish Sodhi and Trent Boult, and for the third time in this match taking two wickets in one over.

New Zealand won the first Test of the Test series against Pakistan by only four runs after putting the hosts into a severe batting collapse.

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"How those two bowlers Ajaz and Wagner bowled, for nearly 20 overs, was brilliant".

"We knew the surface was not easy and we saw this throughout from both sides".

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Taylor was also dominant against Shah by smashing three fours in leg-spinner's one over that included two meticulous cuts and one over mid-wicket.

The visitors reviewed the decision, but the ultra-edge showed a huge spike on the big screen after a clean catch from Sarfraz Ahmed, which meant the half-centurion had to walk back to the pavilion.

Shafiq was caught behind to left-arm paceman Neil Wagner after lifting Pakistan from a perilous 48-3 since resuming at 37 without loss. New Zealand fought to successfully defend the second smallest target in its Test history with Patel and Wagner making the run-chase hard for Pakistan on a wearing wicket. Azhar Ali (65) and Asad Shafiq (45) seemed to have carried Pakistan to victory with an 82-run fourth wicket stand before Wagner broke through just before lunch by having Shafiq caught behind.

Before his dismissal, Asad Shafiq passed a personal milestone of 4,000 Test runs, becoming the 11th Pakistani batsman to do so.

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The earlier measure at the crease had been replaced by chaos. Yasir Shah got rid of Nicholls to break the partnership.

Azhar then tried to inch Pakistan across the line, farming the strike from Mohammad Abbas.

Henry Nicholls hammered 55 runs off 171 deliveries with three boundaries. We obviously need to give credit to Ajaz here, he bowled superbly.

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