Pakistan and New Zealand in UAE, 3 Test Series, 2018 |3rd Test |12/3/2018 Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
So Williamson has been handed the trophy and he along with his team pose with it. End of a hard fought series. We bid you goodbye from this one but there is plenty of cricketing action going on. You can catch the on going Australia-India Test in Adelaide with Day 3 to begin at 1030 local (1200 GMT). Till then, cheers!
New Zealand skipper and Man of the Match, Kane Williamson, says it was a fantastic performance, especially as Pakistan are strong in their backyard. Adds that it's special to win the decider and his team will remember this for a long time. Mentions that they knew it would be hard work to do well here, but they stayed positive despite the ebbs and flows and didn't get ahead of themselves which helped. Reckons that they didn't let themselves fall behind at any stage which helped them put pressure on Pakistan. On his spinners, he says they showed their talent and experience and it's a big deal to perform after coming to such a place. Further adds that besides his performance, Henry Nicholls and the others buckled down and put in key performances which proved to be the difference in the end. Before he's done, Kane congratulates Mohammad Hafeez for a wonderful career and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, says they were the ones who let the opportunities slides, especially as a batting unit, which cost them the series. Mentions that the tailenders aren't able to contribute either which is adding to their batting woes. Continues saying that it's been 4-5 matches where they have collapsed like this on the final day of the Test and they need to work on that. On their tour to South Africa, states that they have to be positive over there and be mentally strong for the challenge.
Man of the Series, Yasir Shah, thanks the Almighty first up. Says that after a good while he's performed well in a series, so is happy to get the award. Informs that he used to work hard in the nets and even improved his action after studying a lot of videos. Stresses that he gives his best every time he steps out on the pitch, but expresses his disappointment at not winning the series.
Two sessions is all it took for the Kiwis to bundle the Pakistan batsmen out. 5 were taken in the one before Lunch and 5 post Lunch. Southee, Ajaz and Somerville all took 3 apiece but one would say, it was the debutant who was the tormentor-in-chief as his three were probably the wickets which would have hurt Pakistan the most.
Quick runs this morning, from Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls who remained unbeaten saw the Kiwis bat Pakistan out of the game. Also, that helped Williamson declare much earlier than what one would have expected and the visitors set a target of 280 with around 80 overs to for the hosts.
New Zealand then trailed by 74 and even before they had cut down the deficit, they were 4 down. Then though came the recovery. A magnificent 212-run stand between, skipper, Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls took New Zealand into a commanding position heading into Day 5. The former got to his ton on Day 4, whereas the latter did the same on Day 5.
Then with the bat too, the hosts were in an excellent position to take a big first innings lead when Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq were batting. The two added a 201-run stand with both scoring tons and Pakistan were cruising at 286-4 but a collapse then saw them being bundled out for 348. Somerville was the star, as the debutant finished with the four-fer, hence keeping the home side intact.
Pakistan however, had their moments but failed to capitalize on it. They had New Zealand on the mat at 72 for 4 in the first innings but let them off the cook as Williamson and Watling added a brilliant 104-run stand. Both scored half centuries and took New Zealand to a respectable total.
A huge achievement for the Kiwis. They have managed to beat Pakistan in their fortress. What an effort for them, one they would remember for a long, long time. A team effort is what it was and not many would have given them a chance heading into the third and final Test, especially after the battering they got in the second. They have bounced back extremely well and have taken the series 2-1.
A Patel to Ali, OUT! And there it is! A famous series win in the U.A.E. for New Zealand. What a tremendous effort. Smiles and handshakes all around, they'll be mighty proud of it. It's floated up by Patel, Hasan Ali comes down the track to go big but ends up getting a big top edge. It balloons towards point where fittingly, skipper Kane Williamson takes the catch. NEW ZEALAND WIN BY 123 RUNS AND TAKE THE SERIES 2-1!
END OF OVER 56 | 2 Runs & 1 Wkt | PAK 156/9
W Somerville to Afridi, Loopy delivery on middle, Shaheen defends off the back foot.
W Somerville to Afridi, Floated on off, Shaheen keeps it out.
W Somerville to Afridi, Tossed up on off, Shaheen defends off the front foot.
W Somerville to Afridi, Flighted delivery on off, Shaheen looks to defend but gets beaten on this one.
W Somerville to Afridi, Flighted delivery on off, Shaheen looks to go straight but gets a top edge towards mid off where Jeet Raval runs back and drops the catch. The batsmen pick up a couple of runs.
W Somerville to Afridi, BEATEN! Tossed up on off, Shaheen looks to defend but misses it and gets beaten on this one.
END OF OVER 55 | 4 Runs & 1 Wkt | PAK 154/9
A Patel to Ali, FOUR! Short and wide outside off, Hasan rocks back and cuts it through point for a boundary.
Shaheen Afridi is the last man in for Pakistan.
A Patel to Azam, OUT! Azam is dismissed immediately after getting to his half ton! New Zealand now only a wicket away. Babar's patience gave away there. He comes down the track and tries to go big. He however, makes the mistake of trying to play across the line. The ball takes a top edge and goes high up in the air towards mid off. Southee there runs back and takes a very good catch.
A Patel to Azam, Gives it air on middle, Azam defends it back to the bowler.
A Patel to B Azam, Another loopy ball on off, Azam lunges and keeps it out.
A Patel to Azam, Flighted ball on middle, the batsman is solid in defense.