Black Caps hope his­tory re­peats

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Who truly be­lieves they can pre­dict what will hap­pen in the fi­nal two days of a capri­cious test cricket se­ries be­tween New Zealand and Pak­istan?

Smart money says Pak­istan will tri­umph hold­ing the stronger po­si­tion after three days.

Yet all we can do is to con­tem­plate the Black Caps trail­ing by 48 runs with eight sec­ond-in­nings wick­ets in hand, and re­fer to re­cent his­tory as a po­ten­tial guide and wait for this three-test con­test to play out in Abu Dhabi.

At stumps on day three of the third test, New Zealand were 26-2 in their sec­ond in­nings after Pak­istan were dis­missed for 348 in their first in­nings.

When Pak­istan’s Azhar Ali (134) and Asad Shafiq (104) com­bined to put on 201 for the fourth wicket, New Zealand’s hopes of a se­ries win looked for­lorn.

Re­al­is­ti­cally, the Black Caps are still up against it, as legspin­ner Yasir Shah seeks to be­come the quick­est bowler to take 200 test wick­ets with one more scalp.

But some ir­re­spon­si­ble bat­ting by the Pak­istan lower or­der only left them with a lead of 74 on the first in­nings – the same mar­gin Pak­istan had in the first test at the same venue.

In that match, Pak­istan were set the seem­ingly sim­ple task of scor­ing 176 for vic­tory in their sec­ond in­nings, only to be stun­ningly dis­missed for 171.

After work­ing their way into a dom­i­nant po­si­tion mid­way through the test, Pak­istan lost 7-62 to give the Black Caps a sniff.

New Zealand off-spin­ner Will Somerville ended his first test in­nings with the ball with fig­ures of 4-75 off 36 overs, bowl­ing well to the tail.

Eigh­teen-year-old debu­tant Sha­heen Shah Afridi re­moved opener Jeet Raval for a duck early in NZ’S sec­ond in­nings and fel­low opener Tom Latham per­ished to an ill-judged sweep just be­fore stumps.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.