ABU DHABI: Pakistan fell short by four runs as New Zealand won the nail-biting first Test in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Pakistan were just four runs away from victory when their last man standing, Azhar Ali, failed to take the team to the other side and fell lbw.
He scored 65 runs off 136 balls, the highest scorer in Pakistan‘s wobbly second innings on the fourth day of play.
Set 176 to chase, Pakistan required only 139 runs to win with 10 wickets remaining when they resumed batting today. The match, however, was spun around by New Zealand’s Aijaz Patel, who took a five-for to cap a brilliant debut performance and win Man of the Match award.
Before his dismissal, Asad Shafiq passed a personal milestone of 4,000 Test runs, becoming the 11th Pakistani batsman to do so. He scored 45 runs.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq was trapped leg-before to a full-length ball by left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel in the fifth over of the day. Imam made 27 with four boundaries.
His fellow opener Mohammad Hafeez then miscued a drive off leg-spinner Ish Sodhi´s next over and was caught in the covers for 10.
Haris Sohail followed three balls later, caught and bowled off a Sodhi full toss for four.
The rest of the wickets were a blur, as Babar Azam was run out for 13, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was caught behind for 3, Bilal Asif and Yasir Shah went for quick ducks, followed by Hasan Ali with another nought.
Pacer Mohammad Abbas offered some support to Azhar by surviving 10 deliveries, but it was not enough when New Zealand trapped the veteran batsman lbw in a thrilling finish.
Five-wicket hauls by Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah on Sunday had skittled New Zealand for 249 soon after tea.