Pakistan tighten their grip on resilient New Zealand — Twitter Reactions

Kristopher Nichols
November 20, 2018

Hasan took three of the first four wickets to fall, with Yasir castling New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, as the Black Caps slipped to 108-4 in their second innings.

Spinner Ajaz Patel took five wickets on his Test debut as New Zealand triumphed by four runs after an astonishing Pakistan batting collapse in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

Resuming on 37 without loss, Pakistan began the day as favourites to chase down the 176 they needed for victory although New Zealand will have taken some hope from Pakistan's failure at the same ground past year to chase 136 against Sri Lanka. A collective bowling performance meant New Zealand couldn't even a get a proper start to the Test series which was expected to pose lots of questions on their composure. Azhar Ali hit 65 but rapidly ran out of partners, with three Pakistan batsmen going for zero.

Colin de Grandhomme got rid off Imam-ul-Haq early in the innings, and Trent Boult followed soon by picking up the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez. "When the partnership (between Azhar and Shafiq) was going it looked the match was in our hands, but the way we collapsed it's very disappointing".

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Hasan Ali bagged his maiden five-wicket haul in Test Cricket while leg-spinner Yasir Shah took his 14th five-wicket haul. The best in recent memory.

This series is the first away test series since 2016 for them so that recent record does flatter them a touch given the matches were all at home although they last played in UAE with numerous same players and they performed well as they drew 1-1 in a three-match series.

But Patel held his nerve to pin him lbw, with the umpire's decision upheld on review to confirm New Zealand's win - the second lowest target they have ever successfully defended in Test cricket. "This game was very close and you can reflect on how you do so many little things differently depending on which side of the result you're on, but at the end of the day it was a great game".

The second Test begins in Dubai on Saturday.

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