Williamson keeps NZ afloat
ABU DHABI: Kane Williamson’s defiant halfcentury led New Zealand to 112 for four at lunch on day four in the third and final test yesterday.
Williamson was batting on a resilient 55 off 86 balls and Henry Nicholls was twice lucky to remain unbeaten on 20 off 54 deliveries as Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah became the quickest bowler in test history to take 200 wickets
The Black Caps, who conceded a 74run firstinnings lead, led Pakistan by 38 runs with six wickets in hand.
Shah, who took two for 49, broke an 82yearold record when he had nightwatchman Will Somerville lbw for four to achieve the feat in his 33rd test after New Zealand resumed on 26 for two.
Dunedinborn Australian legspinner Clarrie Grimmett held the previous record when he claimed his 200th wicket in his 36th test, against South Africa at Johannesburg in 1936.
The overaggressive approach of Ross Taylor, who scored 22 off 14 balls, ultimately led to his downfall when he was caught in the deep as New Zealand slumped to 60 for four.
Taylor smashed three boundaries in leftarm spinner Shaheen Afridi’s one over but was undone by Afridi’s pace in the next over and holed out at deep midwicket.
Nicholls could have been out lbw on three but Pakistan neglected to asked for a review after a Shahled appeal was declined.
Pakistan thought it had Nicholls on nine but he successfully overturned a lbw decision against him.
On day three, centuries by Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq had helped Pakistan overhaul New Zealand’s total of 274 but a lowerorder collapse meant its lead was restricted to 74.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s side nevertheless regained control of the match by picking up two quick New Zealand wickets to leave it in trouble at 26 for two in 14 overs at close of play.
Pakistan, which resumed on its overnight score of 139 for three, rode on Azhar’s 134 and Shafiq’s 104 to get into a commanding position in the series decider.
The pair’s 201run partnership for the fourth wicket ended when Azhar became offspinner Somerville’s first test victim.
The 33yearold batsman mistimed a sweep to offer Ajaz Patel a catch at short fine leg and leave Pakistan at 286 for four.
Shafiq perished shortly afterwards after failing to read leftarmer Patel’s arm ball and was adjudged leg before with a review confirming the dismissal.
His wicket triggered a Pakistan collapse as it went from 304 for five to 348 all out as Somerville ripped up the tail after tea to finish with figures of four for 75.
New Zealand could not capitalise as opener Jeet Raval was dismissed for a duck by leftarm paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi before legspinner Yasir Shah sent back Tom Latham for 10. — Reuters
Leading from the front . . . New Zealand captain Kane Williamson ducks under a short ball during day four of the third test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi yesterday.