Bowlers Lead The Way As Spirited New Zealand Upset Pakistan
New Zealand 403 (Latham 137) v
Pakistan 281-6 (Azhar Ali 75)
Second Test, Dubai, day three
New Zealand bagged another day's play as gritty bowling and fielding display helped them to upset Pakistan on day three of second Test match in Dubai.
At the close of play on day three, Pakistan were 281 for six, still trailing by 122 runs.
Azhar Ali (75) and Younus Khan (73) were the main contributors for Pakistan while Asad Shafiq (44) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (25 not out) forced the pace late in the day to narrow the deficit.
Tim Southee, Mark Craig, James Neesham and Trent Boult picked up a wicket each as Ish Sodhi provided two crucial breakthroughs of Azhar Ali (75) and opener Shan Masood (13).
The hosts started the day steadily as the in-form duo of Azhar Ali and Younus Khan successfully tackled the New Zealand attack till lunch without being separated. Their partnership 113-run calmed the nerves in the Pakistan dressing room after being jolted twice late in the day yesterday.
The pair were firm in their approach, never really being tempted by the traps set by the New Zealand skipper. Ali dropped the anchor while Younus rotated the strike to keep the scoreboard moving.
Post Lunch, New Zealand managed to stem the flow of runs despite not getting the breakthrough which never really allowed Pakistan to get ahead of the game.
Younus departed an hour after lunch for 72 in 160 balls to a loose drive off Neesham that was taken well by Craig in the covers.
Misbah-ul-haq (28) and Azhar Ali ensured prevented any further hiccups till the tea break though the scoring rate was never brisk. The pair put on a 49-run partnership that was starting to repair things.
The second new ball was taken after the tea break and Trent Boult immediately tasted success by getting Misbah caught in slips.
Sodhi managed to get through the gates of a well set Azhar Ali, who misread a top-spinner to see his stumps disturbed.
Pakistan’s woes would have been complicated had Boult not over-stepped which gave Shafiq a reprieve after he had left an in-swinger alone onto his stumps.
Pressure was telling on Pakistan, However, Shafiq and Sarfaraz decided to counter-attack as runs started coming at a brisk clip. The partnership produced a quickfire 59 runs for Pakistan.
Just when it seemed like Pakistan would end the day, even with New Zealand, Tim Southee struck in the penultimate over of the day removing Shafiq who played a loose drive to Taylor in slips.
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Yasir Shah (1 not out) survived till stumps to prevent further damage.
New Zealand will be hoping to get the remaining wickets early tomorrow morning to get a sizeable lead whereas Pakistan will be heavily depending upon Sarfaraz to reduce the deficit.