After routing Australia 2-0, Pakistan continued their good run as they defeated New Zealand by 248 runs early on the fifth day of the first test match at Abu Dhabi. Ish Sodhi delayed the inevitable by scoring his second Test fifty. Chasing a target of 480, Pakistan bowlers had the better of the Kiwi batsmen as they struck in regular intervals to put the visitors on back foot at the end of the fourth day with just two wickets away from a victory in the final day. They made a light work on the final day and wrapped up the innings for 231 in just over an hour.
After a solid 57 run partnership between Tom Latham and Brendon McCullam, it was all about the Pakistan spinners Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar. Yasir Shah dismissed McCullam and Ross Taylor on the either sides of Latham’s dismissal to Babar put Pakistan in command by tea on the penultimate day. When the play resumed in the final session, the wickets fell like nine pins. Kane Williamson’s dismissal opened the floodgates for the Pakistan bowlers when he was dismissed when the scorecard read 4-111. In a matter of 4 overs, three more wickets fell and that added to Kiwis’ misery.
The tail, atleast showed some resistance with some useful contributions from Mark Craig (28), Trent Boult (19*) and the last man out Ish Sodhi 63. Earlier in the match, centuries from Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq along with Mohammad Haffez (96) and Azhar Ali (87) propelled them to a massive 566-3 in the first innings. In reply, New Zealand were skittled out for 262 inspite of Latham’s 103 courtesy Ish Sodhi’s 4-22.
Deciding not to enforce follow-on, Pakistan declared their second innings after scoring 175-2 that allowed Hafeez to cross his century mark which he missed in the first innings. Rahat Ali was awarded the Man of the match ahead of Ahmed Shehzad, who was unlucky to get dismissed for 176 in the first innings.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 262 and 231 (Ish Sodhi 63, Shah 3-74, Babar 2-58) lost to Pakistan 566 for 3 dec and 175 for 2 dec (Hafeez 101*) by 248 runs.
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