New Zealand’s Kane Williamson played a captain’s knock for his team and took his side to a respectable total of 229 for the loss of 7 wickets on Day 1 of the third and final Test of the series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Once again it was leg-spinner Yasir Shah who completely rattled the Kiwi batting line-up on the first day of the play. The spinner induced a mini-collapse in the morning as the Black Caps slipped from 70/1 to 73/4 at lunch. First to go was opening batsman Jeet Raval as Shah trapped the opener leg-before with a faster delivery. Raval was just five runs short of achieving his maiden Test half-century.
He picked the wicket of experienced Ross Taylor on the next ball and clean-bowled as he completely missed the ball. Left-handed batsman Henry Nicholls saved the hat-trick ball and started to build his innings slowly & steadily. But in comes Yasir Shah again and Nicholls was rather unlucky to lose his wicket in such fashion.
Nicholls attempted to sweep but was too early into the shot, gets it off the glove and dragged the ball back into the stumps.
Yasir picked up 3 wickets on the first day and still needs two more to hit the 200-mark and claim the record.
On the other hand, Williamson missed out on his 19th Test century as he played a beautiful knock of 89 to take his team out to a respectable total on Day One. He struck 7 boundaries during his knock.
The normally aggressive Kiwi captain his attacking instinct and played a much more defensive king of a knock as he wanted to carve out first innings that might give his team some leverage in the match.
Right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling gave the much-needed support to Kiwi captain and he played a crucial knock of 42 to help Kiwis build a strong partnership. Williamson and Watling had a strong 104-run stand for the fifth wicket that made sure that New Zealand had some momentum in the match.
The 18-year-old sensation Shaheen Afridi impressed everyone with his with his fiery spell and also claimed his maiden Test wicket in the form of Tom Latham.
As of now, Nicholls is still at the crease on 42* with William Somerville 12* accompanying him.
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