In Numbers | New Zealand Rewrite History in Abu Dhabi

New Zealand pull of a memorable Test win

Pakistan vs New Zealand – 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

Earlier in the day, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first on a track which seemed to have something for the bowlers.

Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali both recorded five-wicket hauls to put Pakistan on course for victory in the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

To be truthful I have a feeling that on a pitch as it is Sarfraz Ahmed and his men are highly unlikely to give up without denting New Zealand's aspirations if they have a promising start to muscle in and then dictate from there on.

New Zealand chose a referral yet again, and once again, three reds on the big screen resulted in the loss of a review.

Resuming on 37 without loss, Pakistan began the day as favourites to chase down the 176 they needed for victory although New Zealand will have taken some hope from Pakistan's failure at the same ground previous year to chase 136 against Sri Lanka. New Zealand fought to successfully defend the second smallest target in its Test history with Patel and Wagner making the run-chase hard for Pakistan on a wearing wicket.

"It's a great advertisement for Test cricket".

Fakhar Zaman has been rested and left out of the squad for this game as talented youngster Saad Ali has been called up but they have an embarrassment of riches with Imam ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam and Azhar Ali all in good form in this format. "When the partnership (between Azhar and Shafiq) was going it looked the match was in our hands, but the way we collapsed it's very disappointing".

Azhar Ali (65), who stitched together an 82-run stand with Asad Shafiq (45) to keep Pakistan's hopes alive, was the last batsman to fall when he was trapped in front of the wicket by Patel who finished with 5-59.

No doubt after a fightback like the one we witnessed by Nicholls and Watling who both scored half-centuries, the New Zealanders have managed to play themselves back in the game. "We had an opportunity (to win) but we will try not to repeat mistakes in the next two Test matches".

The second Test is in Dubai from 24-28 November while the third is in Abu Dhabi from 3-7 December.

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