Pakistan told to take nothing for granted in series decider against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi

Arab News
Wed, 2018-12-05 19:53

LONDON: Pakistan have been told to they need quick wickets or face a series defeat against New Zealand.
The hosts started day three in the UAE capital on 139 for three having bowled the Black Caps out for 247. They looked well set before collapsing from 286 for three to lose their final seven wickets for the addition of just 62 runs. New Zealand had scratched off 26 of Pakistan’s 74-run lead for the loss of two wickets before stumps.
That left the hosts in a commanding position, but according to Asad Shafiq, one of the day’s heroes having scored a 104, Pakistan are taking nothing for granted. The batsman only too aware that any large run chase in the last innings could be difficult.
“We need to get them out quickly tomorrow so that we don’t need to chase a lot of runs,” the 32-year-old said.
The memory of the first Test, when Shafiq and Co. were bowled out for 171 chasing 176, doubtless weighs heavily on the side’s mind, knowing they have only lost one series of the 12 they have played on UAE soil.
But also not in doubt is that they had the better of the third day.
Azhar Ali (134) and Shafiq’s centuries ensuring they eked out what they will hope to be a decisive first-inning lead — debutant Black Caps off-spinner Will Somerville taking four wickets to restrict Pakistan to 348 all out.
Azhar and Shafiq put on 201 for the fourth wicket, but once they were dismissed only Sarfraz Ahmed (25) and Babar Azam (14) offered some resistance.
“It’s always nice to bat with Azhar,” said Shafiq. “But it was disappointing that we couldn’t get a big lead. It happens in cricket and you have to give credit to the bowlers.”
But having already seen the back of both New Zealand by the close the hosts will be the happier of the two teams.
The tourists were then reduced to 26 for at stumps with Kane Williamson unbeaten on 14 and nightwatchman Somerville on one not out to leave them trailing by 48 runs with eight wickets intact.
Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped Jeet Raval for nought while leg-spinner Yasir Shah had Tom Latham caught for 10, his 199th wicket in Tests.
Yasir needs just one more wicket to become the fastest to 200 wickets, in his 33rd Test, a record currently held by Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who reached the milestone in 36 Tests, 82 years ago.

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Source: arabnews
Pakistan told to take nothing for granted in series decider against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi