Pakistan and New Zealand in UAE, 3 Test Series, 2018 |1st Test |11/16/2018 Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
That's it from this game then! Pakistan have stunned themselves more than anyone by choking so badly. Can they recover from this in 4 days' time? The second Test will be played in Dubai, from Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 10 am local (0600 GMT). ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Kane Williamson says that the team knew that the surface wasn't the easiest to bat on and a lot of scrappy batting was required. Observes that plenty of turn was available from even Day 1 and is happy to have come out on the right side of the result. Admits that there are a few batting issues to be resolved but then praises the effort put in. Has words of praise for the attitude shown, especially during the times when wickets fell in clumps. Praises Ajaz and Sodhi for bowling tirelessly this morning and does not know what might have happened had they not applied the pressure. Agrees that there are plenty of 'little' areas which need to be worked over but in the larger perspective of the game, Williamson says that he is more pleased with the attitude shown.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed admits that he is very disappointed. Says that when his side lost 3 quick wickets, it seemed like the match was over but then the Azhar-Shafiq stand revived fortunes. To lose from there, is even more heartbreaking, he adds. Praises Ajaz Patel for his accuracy but then believes his batsmen could have shown more patience. Admits that in the first place, this game should not have gone down to the wire and the batsmen should have played more shots. But when it did, then they should have shown some application. Hopes to learn from these mistakes in the future.
AJAZ PATEL HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH. Says that his game plan was pretty simple. New Zealand believed that they could keep plugging away and thanks the almighty for letting that happen. Credits the relaxed environment in the dressing room for helping the players absorb the pressure and not overdo things. On his debut, he says that he just tried to remind himself of all the hard work that he has done to get to this stage and on his bowling, he says that he just tried to keep it simple.
Ajaz Patel has a chat with Danny Morisson. The former smiles on being given the ball on having got a 5-fer. Says that it is a very special feeling to have done well and led your team to a win. Stresses further that they played the 'Kiwi' way of cricket, not giving up till the last ball. On the words during the Lunch break, Ajaz says that the discussion was just to keep it simple and not give anything away. Adds that it is quite rewarding to win a game for your country after all the hard work he has put in all these years. Stay tuned for the presentation...
The Babar run out seemed to inspire New Zealand and Pakistan both. The bowling side sensed that they can run through the lower order. The batting unit felt that they needed to get things done quickly. Atrocious shots were played, to say the least and only Azhar Ali seemed to be calm under pressure. However, perhaps he could have batted a bit better with the tail - maybe played more shots?
It seemed to be a non-eventful ball. Flicked towards square leg. Could have been a single, would not have mattered even if it was a dot ball. But then, communication was given no respect by either of the two Pakistan batsmen. Babar Azam was admiring the fielding effort while Azhar Ali desperately wanted the single. Neither a yes, nor a no. Just run and watch. What transpired was a run out, that of Babar and the game turned on its head.
One would back the batting side, of course, you would say. But Pakistan, being Pakistan, played just like Pakistan. There is a great degree of mercury rising involved when they play - irrespective of whether they win or lose and today was no less. It all started with a small incident. Really small. Perhaps the phone line was dead. Perhaps there was no network. But why did Azhar Ali not even TRY to call?
There were a few twists this morning, with Pakistan losing three wickets quickly for 8 runs. However, when Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq got a partnership going, it seemed like the writing was on the wall. Even if Asad Shafiq did get out on the last ball before Lunch - just figure this out - 46 runs needed, 6 wickets in hand and plenty of overs left. Whom would you back?
Coming to the match - not quite sure how and where Pakistan lost the game. They made New Zealand collapse from 111/3 to 153 all out and got a lead of 74 in the first innings. Managed to get a decent lead of 74. Then, just when it seemed like the Kiwis were taking the game away, Pakistan restricted them to 249 in the second dig, taking the last 6 wickets for just 29 runs. And then, they raced to 40, without losing a sweat.
Let us take a breather, folks. What did New Zealand have during the Lunch break? Jubilation for the Kiwis. Heartbreak for Pakistan. This is the first time any team has lost by 4 runs in Test cricket. Lowest margin of defeat for Pakistan. Smallest margin of victory for New Zealand. As my colleague, THEONE, usually says to express his feelings - Wow. Just wow.
A Patel to Ali, OUT! New Zealand win by 4 runs. What a Test match! Azhar Ali looks devastated as the Ball Tracker shows the ball to be hitting the top of middle. The decision will remain and Pakistan have imploded quite spectacularly again! The ball was landing on leg and turns enough to beat the outside edge of Azhar Ali who was ahead to defend this one. It goes on to hit his back leg and the umpire thinks a bit before raising his finger. Pakistan had to review but unfortunately for Azhar, it just wasn't his day. It's been a great innings but just couldn't hold his nerve to cross the line in the end. On the other hand though, credit must go to the visitors who came spitting fire after Lunch! And also to some crazy running between Babar Azam and Azhar Ali which began this downfall. The Black Caps will have to be given a lot of appreciation for their 'never-say-die' attitude.
Azhar has been adjudged LBW! The decision though has been reviewed...
A Patel to A Ali, Similar ball and similar shot again, again the run is declined.
A Patel to Ali, Shorter outside off, Ali guides it to deep third man but doesn't run.
A Patel to Ali, Flighted outside off, Azhar is drawn forward to drive it to cover-point but no run taken.
END OF OVER 58 | 1 Runs & 0 Wkt | PAK 171/9
N Wagner to Abbas, Bowls a bouncer, Abbas does well to duck under it.
N Wagner to Ali, Slow bouncer, the batsman plays it towards third man. The batsmen take a run.
N Wagner to Ali, HAHA! Azhar tries something different. Length delivery outside off stump, Azhar goes for the scoop but misses it completely and gets beaten. Wagner starts to appeal for the catch but then bails out.
N Wagner to Ali, Short of a length delivery, the batsman got a low bounce and he pulls it towards mid-wicket.
N Wagner to Ali, Short of a length delivery again, Azhar again pulls it towards square leg.
N Wagner to Ali, Short of a length delivery, Azhar pulls it towards mid-wicket.
END OF OVER 57 | 1 Runs & 0 Wkt | PAK 170/9
A Patel to Ali, Sensible batting from Ali, he comes down the wicket and drives to long off to pick up a single and retains strike. Only six required now!