Pakistan v New Zealand, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 5th day Pakistan seal 248-run victory

Pakistan took a little more than an hour on the fifth morning to claim the last two New Zealand wickets to win the Abu Dhabi Test by 248 runs. The result made Misbah-ul-Haq Pakistan’s most successful Test captain, his 15th victory taking him ahead of Imran Khan and Javed Miandad.

Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq walk off after the victory © AFP

Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq walk off after the victory
© AFP

The finish seemed imminent when leg-spinner Yasir Shah spun through Mark Craig’s defences in the second over of the day, but New Zealand’s last wicket added 54 runs in 15.1 overs. Ish Sodhi cut, swept and pulled his way to his second half-century, bringing it up with a slog over the midwicket boundary. Trent Boult gave him dogged support.

There were plenty of close calls, though, as edges squirted wide of and between fielders, and batsmen got inside edges in the nick of time, before the ball sneaked through to hit pad or the stumps. The best opportunity came in the 65th over, when Sodhi attempted a sweep and the ball lobbed off the glove behind the wicketkeeper. Younis Khan at first slip left it to Sarfaraz, who bid not attempt the catch. The bowler Zulfiqar Babar scowled.

Victory was finally achieved after the drinks break, when Imran Khan reversed a full ball into Sodhi’s pads and successfully appealed for lbw. Pakistan’s celebrations were interrupted by a review of the decision, but replays showed it to be an umpire’s call. The win was Pakistan’s third in a row, after the 2-0 sweep of Australia.

(Taken from ESPNcricinfo, by George Binoy)