Pakistan close in on victory


Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Pakistan require just two wickets on the final day to win the first Test against New Zealand after another dominant display in Abu Dhabi.

The hosts came into day four with a lead of 319 and an unbeaten 101 from Mohammad Hafeez helped them extend that to 479 before declaring on 175 for two.

New Zealand got their unlikely chase off to a solid start but then lost eight wickets for 81 runs before a partnership of 36 got them to the close on 174 for eight, still requiring another 306.

Pakistan began the day on 15 without loss and made steady progress in the morning with Hafeez leading the way as they reached 69 before Azhar Ali became the first wicket to fall.

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi got one to straighten and Ali was plumb in front for 23 while trying to sweep.

That brought Younis Khan to the crease and he and Hafeez managed to guide the hosts through to lunch at 127 for one, with the latter dispatching Tim Southee for 12 runs in the 30th over.

The pair put on 70 in 15 overs before Sodhi had another victim trapped in front in the second over after the interval, Younis (28) this time the man sweeping and the umpire’s decision to give him out was upheld after review.

Sarfraz Ahmed (13) then came out to support Hafeez to his century off 130 balls before Misbah-ul-Haq brought his men in at 175 for two, leaving New Zealand needing 480 to win off 143 overs.

New Zealand got their reply off to a good start with Tom Latham and Brendon McCullum guiding them to 57 without loss but when Latham (20) top-edged a Zulfiqar Babar delivery to Yasir Shah, the wheels began to come off.

Shah had a wicket of his own in the next over when he trapped McCullum lbw for 39 and it was 69 for three shortly after with Ross Taylor giving him another victim for eight.

Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson then steadied the ship putting on 42 for the fourth wicket but three wickets in five balls saw the Black Caps middle-order decimated.

First, a beautiful Hafeez delivery saw Williamson stumped for 23 before James Neesham was caught behind for a duck off the bowling of Rahat Ali.

BJ Watling was clean bowled next ball to leave Rahat on a hat-trick but Mark Craig managed to see away the danger.

With the tourists on the ropes, Imran Khan was brought back into the attack and he removed Anderson first ball lbw for 23 to leave New Zealand 121 for seven.

Southee was next to go when he was bowled by Babar for five but Craig and Sodhi then each reached 27 not out to frustrate Pakistan.

Published: Wednesday 12th November 2014 by The News Editor

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