Spin twins help Ki­wis to sur­prise away win

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT - Abu Dhabi

– Debu­tant Will Somerville (right) grabbed three key wick­ets to guide New Zealand to their first away se­ries win over Pak­istan in 49 years with a crush­ing 123-run win in the third and fi­nal Test yes­ter­day.

The off-spin­ner took 3/52 and was aided by fel­low spin­ner Ajaz Pa­tel’s 3/42 as Pak­istan came up well short af­ter be­ing set a daunt­ing 280 off 79 overs.

They crum­bled to 156 in 56.1 overs on a weary pitch at Sheikh Zayed Sta­dium in Abu Dhabi.

The vic­tory gave New Zealand a 2-1 se­ries win.

Their last away se­ries win against Pak­istan was a 1-0 vic­tory in Pak­istan in 1969.

Cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson, whose 139-run in­nings turned the match and the se­ries in his side’s favour, said: “It was fan­tas­tic. Beat­ing Pak­istan in their back­yard is very tough.

“It feels pretty spe­cial and we will re­mem­ber it for a long time.”

It was the Ki­wis’ fifth se­ries win in their last six since Novem­ber 2016. They beat Pak­istan, Bangladesh, the West In­dies and Eng­land – all at home – with the sin­gle loss against South Africa.

Somerville, who took 4/75 in the first in­nings to fin­ish with seven wick­ets in the match, broke a stub­born 43-run sixth-wicket stand be­tween top scorer Babar Azam (51) and skip­per Sar­fraz Ahmed, who made 28.

Pa­tel ended Azam’s 114-ball re­sis­tance be­fore get­ting the last wicket when he dis­missed Hasan Ali for four, spark­ing cel­e­bra­tions among the New Zealand play­ers.

Pak­istan were again let down by sloppy bat­ting and Sar­fraz rued missed op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We had our chances in all three Tests but we could not grab them,” he said. “It’s very dis­ap­point­ing to lose a se­ries in con­di­tions which are our own.”

Pak­istan were off to a dis­as­trous start when Mo­ham­mad Hafeez, in his last in­nings be­fore re­tir­ing, was bowled by fast bowler Tim Southee for eight.

Colin de Grand­homme had first-in­nings cen­tu­rion Azhar Ali caught be­hind for five be­fore Somerville’s dou­ble strike pushed Pak­istan to 55/5 at lunch.

Somerville had Haris So­hail caught at slip with his third ball of the first over for nine and next ball had first-in­nings cen­tu­rion Asad Shafiq caught be­hind.

In the last over be­fore lunch Imam-ul-Haq fell to for­ward short-leg off Pa­tel for 22. – AFP

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