Spin­ners se­cure New Zealand a his­toric se­ries vic­tory

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

AFP- Debu­tant Will Somerville 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 three for 52 and was aided by fel­low spin­ner Ajaz Pa­tel’s three for 42 as Pak­istan came up well short af­ter be­ing set a daunt­ing 280-run tar­get in 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 af­ter they had taken the first Test by a nar­row four-run mar­gin at the same venue. Pak­istan bounced back with an in­nings and 16-run win in the sec­ond Test in Dubai.

New Zealand’s last away se­ries win against Pak­istan was a 1-0 vic­tory in matches played in Pak­istan in 1969.

It was New Zealand’s fifth Test se­ries win in their last six played since Novem­ber 2016.They beat Pak­istan, Bangladesh, the West Indies and Eng­land - all at home - with the sin­gle loss came against South Africa.

Somerville, who took four for 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 off to a dis­as­trous start when Mo­ham­mad Hafeez, in his last in­nings be­fore he re­tires from Test cricket, was bowled by fast bowler Tim Southee for eight.

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

Somerville had Haris So­hail caught off a ten­ta­tive push in the slip with his third ball of the first over for nine and next ball had first in­nings cen­tu­rion Asad Shafiq caught be­hind off the glove.

Ear­lier, New Zealand de­clared their sec­ond in­nings on 353 for seven af­ter some 45 min­utes of bat­ting with Henry Ni­cholls re­main­ing un­beaten on 126 and Wil­liamson dis­missed at his overnight score of 139.

New Zealand: 274 and 353/7 de­clared (K.wil­liamson 139,R.taylor 22,H.ni­cholls 126 n.o,c.de Grand­homme 26, Sha­heen 2/85,Yasir 4/129)

Pak­istan: 348 and 156 (I. ul-haq 22, B. Azam 51,S.ahmed 28,Southee 3/42,Pa­tel 3/42, Somerville 3/52).

New Zealand crick­eters pose with the Tro­phy

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