New Zealand staged a fightback of sorts in the deciding Test match against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Resuming the day at 26/2, it didn’t take long for Pakistan to make a mark as Yasir Shah dismissed William Somerville to register his 200th victim in 33 Test matches, making him the fastest to reach that mark, surpassing an 82-year old record set by Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett.
Shaheen Shah Afridi kept that momentum going by dismissing Ross Taylor for just 22 off 14 balls to rattle the Kiwis at 60/4.
But an unbeaten 212-run stand between Henry Nicholls and skipper Kane Williamson was what turned the game around its head. The duo not only arrested the slump but also showed a lot of resilience in fending off the threat posed by the Pakistan bowlers. Williamson scored a sparkling 139 off 282 deliveries with 13 fours while his partner Henry Nicholls consumed 243 balls for his unbeaten 90–a knock that had eight hits to the fence.
Surprisingly, none of the bowlers could find any success all throughout the day. The Kiwi duo, who now have helped their side attain a 198-run lead, would want to carry on in the same vein on the fifth day as well.
Brief scores: New Zealand 272 for 4 (Williamson 139*, Nicholls 90*, Shaheen 2-55) and 274 (Williamson 89, Watling 77*, Bilal 5-65) lead Pakistan 348 (Azhar 134, Shafiq 104, Somerville 4-75) by 198 runs.