Pakistan turned the screws on New Zealand on the first day of the first Test in Abu Dhabi, bowling the visitors out for 153 before ending the day 94 runs behind with eight first-innings wickets in hand.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, New Zealand failed to take advantage of a slow track, losing their first three wickets for just 39 runs before skipper Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls added 72 off 140 balls for the fourth wicket. Nicholls fell with the score on Nelson after a subdued 28 off 78 balls (four fours), with Williamson following 12 runs later after a well played 63 off 112 balls (five fours).
Opener Tom Latham (13 off 38 balls), BJ Watling (10 off 35) and Neil Wagner (12 off 33) were the only other batters to make it into double figures as New Zealand were dismissed for a sorry 153 off 66.3 overs.
The wickets were spread across five Pakistan bowlers, although the awesome Mohammad Abbas bowled yet another tremendous spell, finishing with figures of 12-7-13-2 (econ 1.08). Yasir Shah (3-54) weighed in with two of the early wickets to fall, while Haris Sohail (2-11, econ 1.37), and Hasan Ali (2-38, econ 2.37) helped to close the innings out.
Wicketkeeper and captain Sarfraz Ahmed held on to four catches, while four New Zealanders were trapped leg before thanks to a mixture of delightful bowling and poor judgement from the batters.
Pakistan lost both openers, caught by Williamson, with the score on 27. First to go was Imam-ul-Haq, caught in the gully off Colin de Grandhomme for six off 17 balls, followed six balls later by Mohammad Hafeez, caught at short mid-wicket off Trent Boult for 20 (31 balls, four fours).
Azhar Ali (10 not out off 50 balls) and Sohail (20 not out off 40 balls, three fours) saw Pakistan through to the close at 59-2, leaving their side well placed to put some distance between themselves and New Zealand’s first innings score.
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