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Pakistan close in on Test series-levelling win against New Zealand

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DUBAI: Middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls stood firm with a fighting half-century to delay Pakistan´s probable series-levelling victory in the second day in Dubai on Tuesday.

Nicholls was unbeaten on 74 for his seventh Test fifty as New Zealand reached 297-7 at tea on the fourth day, needing another 31 runs to avoid an innings defeat with just three wickets intact.

Pakistan, who lost the first Test by four runs in Abu Dhabi, were put on the victory path by leg-spinner Yasir Shah who followed his career-best 8-41 with 4-137 in the second innings.

But New Zealand’s batsmen led by Ross Taylor (82) and Nicholls made Pakistan toil hard.

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