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Pakistan two wickets away from 1-0 lead

New Zealand ends fourth day 306 runs behind with only two second-innings wickets left

Pakistan two wickets away from 1-0 lead - Cricket News
The Pakistan bowlers, both pacers and spinners, dismantled a fragile New Zealand batting line-up.
Pakistan's super run in Tests looked good to continue as a fragile New Zealand batting collapsed on the fourth day of the first Test between the two sides at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (November 12).
 
New Zealand, needing 480 to pull off an improbable win, was tottering at 174 for 8 at stumps on the penultimate day after Pakistan declared its second innings at 175 for 2 following a quick century from Mohammad Hafeez.
 
At one stage, it looked like Pakistan was going to wrap up the Test inside four days, but New Zealand's tailenders – No. 8 Mark Craig (27) and No. 10 Ish Sodhi (27) – showed admirable fighting spirit to add 36 runs and, more importantly, occupy the crease for 14.5 overs to delay Pakistan's victory march.
 
That left Pakistan, which had surged to the No. 3 spot in the ICC Test rankings following a 2-0 whitewash of Australia last week, on the brink of its third successive Test win.
 
The spinners dismantled New Zealand’s top three by the tea interval. Zulfiqar Babar, the left-arm spinner, accounted for Tom Latham (20) after he had put together 57 runs with Brendon McCullum for the first wicket. Yasir Shah, the legspinner, then removed McCullum (39) and Ross Taylor (8) in successive overs as New Zealand slipped to 69 for 3.
 


New Zealand failed to recover from those blows and all the Pakistan bowlers – pacers and spinners – got among the wickets as the day wore on.
 
McCullum's knock was followed by bits of resistance from Corey Anderson (23) and Kane Williamson (23). However, the rest of the batting caved in on a surface that didn't deteriorate as much as expected.
Earlier, Hafeez reached the three-figure mark for the first time since July 2012. His sixth Test century was studded with 12 fours and two sixes. He found good support from Azhar Ali (23) and Younis Khan (28). Hafeez opened up after a cautious start, hitting boundaries off Trent Boult and then two off Sodhi to complete his fifty. His century, to follow his 96 in Pakistan’s first-innings total of 566 for 3 declared, came with a brace off McCullum.

Please click here to see the full scorecard and follow live ball-by-ball coverage of Pakistan v New Zealand from Abu Dhabi.

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