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Boult, Craig bowl New Zealand to massive win

Shafiq lights up Sharjah with spectacular 137 but Pakistan goes down by an innings and 80 runs in final Test

Boult, Craig bowl New Zealand to massive win - Cricket News
Mark Craig finished with 10 wickets in the match as New Zealand bowled Pakistan out for 259 for an innings and 80-run win.
Asad Shafiq scored a breathtaking century for Pakistan but couldn't prevent New Zealand from running away with an innings and 80-run win in the third and final Test in Sharjah on Sunday (November 30).

The win, achieved on the fourth evening with more than a day to spare as Pakistan was bowled out for 259, helped New Zealand square the series 1-1 and bounce back strongly after the 248-run defeat in the first Test in Abu Dhabi. 

Shafiq smashed 137 off just 148 balls, with 18 fours and six sixes, to provide the lone bright spot in Pakistan's batting effort in the second innings. New Zealand had begun the day on 637 for 8 in reply to Pakistan’s 351, and kicked on to score 690 for a decisive lead of 339 runs.

Pakistan needed to start well to have any chance of batting out time and escaping with a draw, but Trent Boult (4/38) struck repeatedly in his first spell to end those aspirations. Mark Craig, the off-spinner, built on his heroics of the first innings by taking 3 for 109 in the second knock to finish with 10 wickets in the match.

Pakistan went to lunch at 30 for 3 after Boult sent back three of the top four batsmen with a fiery spell of swing bowling. Boult got Shan Masood to edge one to Tim Southee at third slip in the third over to begin the rot. Four overs later, the left-arm paceman castled Azhar Ali with one that came in from around the wicket to which the right-hand batsman offered no shot.

Boult then trapped Younis Khan lbw for a first-ball duck with another one swinging in from around the wicket. The blow meant Pakistan was reduced to 24 for 3. 

Post lunch, it was Craig who struck telling blows, picking up the important wickets of Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq. Craig dismissed Hafeez (24) in the second over after lunch when the right-hand batsman scooped a simple chance back to the bowler. Misbah was caught by BJ Watling, the wicket-keeper, off an inside edge three overs later for 12. 

With the ball keeping low, Brendon McCullum brought on Ish Sodhi in the 33rd over in search of another wicket. However, Shafiq struck three boundaries – two hits over mid-on and a sweep past fine-leg – to welcome the leg-spinner. Shafiq continued to attack and smashed Craig over the long-off boundary to inch closer to his half-century. 

The Shafiq-Sarfraz Ahmed alliance fetched Pakistan 73 runs in 12.5 overs. Sarfraz was given two chances in the 37th over when Craig dropped him at short fine-leg off Sodhi, and then Ross Taylor failed to hold on to a tough chance at first slip. The wicketkeeper-batsman was eventually dismissed trying to drive a full one at the stroke of tea, caught at first slip by Taylor off Sodhi for 37. Yasir Shah, who raced to 10 off three balls, was trapped lbw four balls later. 

Pakistan resumed on 147 for 7 after tea and Shafiq went on the attack, alongside Mohammad Talha until the latter was trapped in front by Daniel Vettori for 19. Rahat Ali was happy to just stay at the crease as he played out 42 balls for 6, in a partnership that was worth 78 and came off just 81 balls. 

Shafiq was eventually dismissed by Boult, who had him caught at deep mid-wicket off a short ball. Craig then got Rahat to top-edge a slog-sweep which was caught by McCullum, giving the off-spinner his 10th wicket of the match and New Zealand a share of the spoils in the three-match series.

In the morning, New Zealand built on the heroics of McCullum (202) and Kane Williamson (192), adding 53 more runs in 13.1 overs before losing its last two wickets. Craig, later named the man of the match, started the day on 34 and reached his second Test half-century with a six off Shah. He was soon dismissed for 65, caught and bowled by Hafeez with the score reading 682. Sodhi was soon caught at first slip by Younis off Shah when he top edged a sweep when on 22. 

Rahat (4/99) and Shah (4/193) shared eight wickets, while Hafeez, the man of the series, returned 2 for 110.

The teams next face each other in two Twenty20 Internationals, which will be followed by a five-match One-Day International series. 

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