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Pakistan sink without trace as New Zealand close in on series win


New Zealand bowlers ran through the Pakistan top-order to leave the visiting side on the brink of a famous away win in the UAE as they require just six wickets in two sessions to go 2-1 up in the three-match series as the hosts went into lunch in deep trouble at 55-5.

Debutant off-spinner William Somerville picked up two wickets in two balls — dismissing Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq — to leave the hosts floundering after seamers Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme had accounted for Muhammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali respectively with balls that nipped away off the surface.

Ajaz Patel then dismissed Imam ul Haq on the last over before lunch to leave Pakistan with little realistic chances of survival.

Pakistan were always going to up against it as they looked to chase down  an incredibly tricky chase of 280.

Sarfraz Ahmed and his men had been ahead for most of the game before New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (139 off 283 balls) and left-handed batsman Henry Nicholls (126 not out off 266 balls) scored superb centuries to turn the tie on its head on day four.

Williamson was dismissed by Hasan Ali on the first ball of day five but Pakistan were unable to prevent the hemorrhage of runs as New Zealand batsmen continued to find the boundaries even as wickets tumbled.

A total of 81 runs and four wickets in just nine overs on day five was in stark contrast to what had been four hard days of attritional cricket.

Yasir Shah was once again the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan, claiming 4-129, while debutant Shaheen Shah Afridi took 2-85.

 

 

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