Pakistan resolute against New Zealand as Mohammad Hafeez announces Test retirement

Arab News
Tue, 2018-12-04 19:05

LONDON: Azhar Ali’s resolute half-century helped Pakistan reach 139 for three in reply to New Zealand’s 274 on day two of the third and final test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
After the very slow day’s cricket the abiding memory will be the announcement from struggling Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez that this will be his last Test. The 38-year-old has managed just 66 runs in seven innings since scoring a hundred against Australia in Dubai last month following his Test recall after two years away.
The Abu Dhabi Test is Hafeez’s 55th since making his debut against Bangladesh in 2003. He has so far scored 3,644 runs with 10 hundreds and 12 half centuries, with the chance to add to that in his second innings in this Test.
“I feel time is up. I am announcing my retirement and feel happy that I worked hard in my career,” said Hafeez, who has also played 203 one-day internationals and 89 Twenty20s.
“I had been thinking of retiring from Tests for the last two weeks and thought that now is the time to leave the five-day format but I will continue to play limited-over matches.”
In the absence of runs from the outgoing opener — who was out for a duck, taken at slip off the bowling of Trent Boult — it was left to Azhar to provide ballast to the Pakistan innings. The batsman finished the day unbeaten on 62 off 169 balls, to help Pakistan recover from the loss of two early wickets to trail New Zealand by 135 runs with seven wickets remaining.
Asad Shafiq was unbeaten on 26 after the pair shared an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 54 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.New Zealand pace bowler Boult , having removed Hafeez then got rid of Imam-ul-Haq with only 17 runs on the board, both openers caught by Tim Southee in the slips.
With Pakistan facing a familiar top-order collapse, Azhar stitched together a 68-run stand with Haris Sohail (34) to ease their nerves.
A well-set Sohail was dismissed when he edged Southee to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, but Azhar and Shafiq dropped anchor to ensure Pakistan did not suffer any more losses.
Earlier, New Zealand added 45 runs to their overnight score of 229 for seven, with Watling finishing unbeaten on 77.
Off-spinner Bilal Asif, who picked up two wickets on Monday, completed his second five-wicket haul in Tests.
Debutant William Somerville was bowled for his overnight score of 12 after he failed to read Asif’s sharp turn and the same bowler had Ajaz Patel caught at slip and bowled Boult to finish with figures of five for 65.
New Zealand won the opening test in Abu Dhabi by four runs before Pakistan levelled the three-match series with victory in the second test in Dubai by an innings and 16 runs.

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Source: arabnews
Pakistan resolute against New Zealand as Mohammad Hafeez announces Test retirement