⚬ Only three First-class matches old, Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi made his Test Debut at Abu Dhabi.
⚬ New skipper Kane Williamson produced a hard-fought 89 followed by BJ Watling scoring an undefeated 77.
⚬ While Bilal Asif and Yasir Shah bagged 5 and 3 wickets respectively, New Zealand were all out for 274 at the end of the first innings.
⚬ The third Test, going on at Abu Dhabi, is the final and decider Test match of this series between Pakistan and New Zealand.
New Zealand hasn’t won a bilateral Test series hosted by Pakistan in more than fifty years. After winning a thriller first Test, New Zealand lost to Pakistan by a big margin in the second Test match. The third Test was a brisk start for the New Zealand batsmen. Even though wickets kept tumbling down right from the start for the kiwis, captain Kane Williamson put up a valiant fight. Shaheen Afridi got his maiden Test wicket in the form of Tom Latham pretty early in the innings. After the dismissal of Jeet Raval, the wickets of Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls also fell in quick succession.
Williamson stood all amidst a spinners show by Pakistan. He resisted some and hit some. Facing 175 deliveries he scored a commendable 89 which included 7 fours. He fought the dominant spin brilliantly but fell to Hasan Ali in the end. A reverse-swing from Ali did the trick for Pakistan. Williamson tried to whip away a fuller length delivery and in that process, he hit the ball towards short midwicket. Asad Shafiq took a comfortable catch and as Kane Williamson walked away, Pakistan finally found their breakthrough.
Next was New Zealand’s number 6 who put up an even bigger show of resistance. BJ Watling faced 250 deliveries to score an undefeated 77 as Pakistan spinners took domination over New Zealand. New Zealand were all out for 229/7 at the end of Day 1. The nest three wickets were picked by Pakistan at ease, as the tail-enders showed lesser resistance. Meanwhile, BJ Watling kept adding those runs, pushing New Zealand towards a better total. And by midway of the first session of Day 2, New Zealand were all out for 274. While Yasir Shah claimed three wickets, Bilal Asif bagged a five-wicket haul. Yasir Shah is still a couple of wickets away from breaking Clarie Grimmett’s record.
New Zealand’s William Somerville
Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi
Day 2 Innings Break New Zealand 274 all out (BJ Watling 77*, Kane Williamson 89) v Pakistan (Bilal Asif 5/65, Yasir Shah 3/75)