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New Zealand clinch historic series win against Pakistan
- Updated: December 7, 2018
New Zealand ended the wait of 49 years as they completed an away series win versus Pakistan at UAE. Defending 280 runs in 79 overs, New Zealand side ran through the Pakistani batting lineup in just 56.1 overs. By virtue of winning the third Test match, the Blackcaps secured their first away series win against Pakistan since 1969.
Pakistan had gained the lead of 74 runs in the first inning but was defied by the scintillating knocks from Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls. Williamson was out on the first ball of the fifth day as he was back for his overnight score of 139. Nicholls and Colin De Grandhomme then accelerated the run rate and brought 62 runs from the next 39 balls. The visitors eventually declared for 353/7, setting a target of 280 to be chased in the remaining 79 overs.
Pakistan went in to bat with all three results possible. Mohammad Hafeez, playing in his last Test, was castled by Tim Southee with a peach of a delivery. De Grandhomme removed Azhar Ali to reduced Pakistan to 32/2. From here onwards, the New Zealand spinners took over.
Will Somerville, playing in his debut Test, dispatched Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq on consecutive deliveries to put Pakistan in mortal danger. Ajaz Patel removed Imam-ul-Haq from the other end as the green nation collapsed to 55/5 at lunch on the final day.
Sarfraz Ahmed and Bilal Asif tried their best to initiate a fightback with Babar Azam at the other end but were sent back soon enough. Southee dismissed Yasir Shah with a bouncer, and Azam soon lost his patience as well. The last wicket saw off seven balls after Azam’s fall for 51 and ultimately it was ‘Caught Williamson bowled Ajaz Patel’ that ended Pakistan’s misery.
The 123-run loss saw Pakistan losing its second home series in a year’s time. Yasir Shah, who picked 29 wickets in three Tests, was adjudged as the Man of the series while Kane Williamson collected the Man of the match award for his sterling batting effort. Pakistan slides to the seventh spot in ICC rankings after this loss while New Zealand has consolidated their fourth spot.