Sport

New Zealand face uphill battle after Azhar, Shafiq hit hundreds

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq hit centuries yesterday to leave Pakistan in command of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi despite a batting collapse that curtailed their first-innings lead.

Azhar hit an attractive 134 for his 15th Test hundred, while Shafiq scored 104, but debutant New Zealand off-spinner Will Somerville took four wickets to restrict Pakistan to 348 all out.

Pakistan appeared set to build a huge lead before collapsing from 286-3 to lose their final seven wickets for the addition of just 62 runs.

The 34-year-old Somerville finished with 4-75, while left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel took 2-100 and pace spearhead Trent Boult chipped in with 2-66.

That gave Pakistan a 74-run lead — the same advantage they held in the first Test at the same venue before losing by four runs.

New Zealand were then reduced to 26-2 at stumps with Kane Williamson unbeaten on 14 and nightwatchman Somerville on one not out to leave them trailing by 48 runs with eight wickets intact.

Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped Jeet Raval for nought, while leg-spinner Yasir Shah had Tom Latham caught for ten, his 199th wicket in Tests.

Yasir needs just one more wicket to become the fastest to 200 wickets, in his 33rd Test, a record currently held by Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who reached the milestone in 36 Tests, 82 years ago.

Shafiq said Pakistan must limit New Zealand in their second innings after his side failed to chase down 176 in the first Test.

Azhar and Shafiq put on 201 for the fourth wicket, but once they were dismissed, only Sarfraz Ahmed (25) and Babar Azam (14) offered some resistance.

Azhar edged medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme through the slips to complete his first century since May 2017 against the West Indies in Dominica — and his first hundred against New Zealand.

He took 210 balls to reach the three-figure mark, before being caught sweeping off Somerville, just before tea.

Shafiq brought up his 12th Test ton with a sharp single off Somerville before falling leg-before to Patel to a straight delivery.

Somerville then had Azam and Hasan Ali (nought) bowled and wrapped up the innings by getting Sarfraz caught at midwicket.

Earlier, Azhar and Shafiq frustrated New Zealand's search for early wickets as they took Pakistan to 224-3 at lunch.

New Zealand skipper Williamson took the second new ball in the 81st over with Pakistan comfortably placed at 213-3, but the bowlers struggled to extract much life from a flat pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Pakistan levelled the series with an innings and 16-run win in the second Test in Dubai.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT