The Kiwis grabbed an amazing victory in the third and final Test match against Pakistan as the Kane Williamson-led side thumped the Men in Green by 123 runs in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
New Zealand started the day on a disappointing note as the 212-run stand between skipper Williamson and Henry Nicholls finally came to an end on the very first ball of the day. Hasan Ali bowled a nip-backer from a length, Williamson was lazy with his foot movement, was neither forward nor back. He waited in the crease as the ball swung in to crash him just above the knee-roll in-line with the stumps.
His brilliant knock of 139 off 283 balls contained 13 boundaries.
On the other hand, his fellow teammate Henry Nicholls took a single to complete his third Test century and took the Black Caps over the 300-run mark. Meanwhile, the big man of New Zealand Colin de Grandhomme played a blistering knock 26 off just 19 balls, hitting 2 sixes and 2 boundaries during his knock.
He took a particular liking to pacer Shaheen Afridi as Grandhomme struck him for a boundary and a towering six in the same over.
With the help of Nicholls and Grandhomme, the Kiwis added 81 runs in the last 45 minutes of their inning, ensuring they set up a daunting target for Pakistan.
It was leg-spinner, Yasir Shah, once again who turned out to be the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as he picked up 4 wickets in the second innings and gave away 129 runs in his 39 overs.
Chasing 280, the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side dealt with an early blow in the form of Mohammad Hafeez, who was playing the last inning of his Test career. Hafeez was sent back into the dressing room on the fourth ball of the seventh over. A beautiful delivery bowled by Southee was too hot to handle for experienced Pakistan batsman.
De Grandhomme proved to be lethal while bowling too as he picked up important wicket of Azhar Ali for five before William Somerville pierced through the Pakistan batting line-up.
Somerville, the right-arm off-spinner who took 4 wickets in the first innings, broke the strong 43-run stand between Babar Azam (51) and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed (28).
Another spinner and the hero of a first Test match, Ajaz Patel, ended Azam’s 114-ball resistance before getting the last wicket when he dismissed Hasan Ali for four.
Somerville and Patel came together to share six wickets between them as Pakistan crumbled to 156 in just 56.1 overs.
With the win, New Zealand won the series 2-1 after taking a narrow four-run victory in the first Test at the same venue. This was New Zealand’s first series win against Pakistan in 49 years. The last away series win against the Men in Green was 1-0 victory in matches played in Pakistan in 1969.
BRIEF SCORES –
NEW ZEALAND 274 & 353 (Williamson 139, Nicholls 126*; Shah 4/129) beat PAKISTAN 348 & 156 (Azam 51, Sarfaraz 28; Patel 3/42, Somerville 3/52) by 123 runs.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar