In the nail-biting finish, New Zealand snatched a four-run victory against Pakistan in the first Test of three-match Test series at Abu Dhabi and took a 1-0 lead of the series.
On the dramatic fourth day of the Test match, Pakistan just failed to win the Test while the debutant New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel’s five-wicket haul helped them to win the thrilling Test match.
Chasing down the 176-run target, Pakistan began the day on their overnight score 37/0. Soon under the first six overs of the day, Pakistan lost their three batsmen, including both the openers. After that, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq provided a very crucial partnership of 82-run for the fourth wicket that rescued them and was leading them towards the safe chase.
But everything was changed quickly after Shafiq was dismissed on 45 runs off 81 balls (4 fours) just before the lunch of the day.
Soon after the lunch break, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam had a huge misunderstanding in the running between the wickets that led to a run-out of Babar on 13 runs. After that, Pakistan regularly lost their wickets as none of the other batsmen managed to play the double-digit knocks. While the skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was caught behind for just 3 runs, the last four batsmen failed to open their accounts.
In the end, Azhar Ali fought hard and led Pakistan to the closure of victory. He played very patiently but just failed to secure that thrilling victory as finally the Kiwi hero Ajaz Patel trapped him for an lbw through a brilliant delivery and finished the game. Ali was dismissed on 65 runs off 136 balls (5 fours) while Pakistan was all-out on 171 runs with just five runs short from the target. From 130/3, Pakistan dramatically collapsed on 171 runs.
Among the New Zealand bowlers, Ajaz Patel had the bowling figure of 23.4-4-59-5 while Ish Sodhi (2/37) and Neil Wagner (2/27) both picked up two wickets each.
Earlier in this match, New Zealand was bundled out on 153 runs in the first innings after choosing to bat first. In reply, Pakistan scored 227 runs with the 74-run lead. New Zealand managed to score 249 runs in their second innings before getting bundled out and set the target of 176 runs for Pakistan.
The debutant New Zealand cricketer Ajaz Patel won the Player of the Match award who took a total of seven wickets (2/64 & 5/59) in this game.
Here are some Twitter reactions:
— Cricket Talkies (@CricketTalkies) November 19, 2018
What a fantastic test match to be calling @jecfranklin @SteelyDan66 Both @BLACKCAPS & @TheRealPCB played in great spirit. Congrats to NZ and what a series we have in store. #PakvNZ #testcricket #aliveandwell #victory
— Simon Doull (@Sdoull) November 19, 2018
— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) November 19, 2018
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) November 19, 2018
— Danny Morrison (@SteelyDan66) November 19, 2018
From 147/4 to lose chasing 176 required a special effort not just from NZ but from Pakistan. Only Pak can provide such thrillers out of easy victories. Well done to NZ and bad luck Pak #PakvNZ
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 19, 2018
A test match to remember for a long time. An outstanding effort from New Zealand to win this after being out of the game for so long. Their never-say- die attitude is so wonderful and Test Cricket is well and truly alive #PakvNZ
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) November 19, 2018
— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) November 19, 2018
Best Test match bowling figures on debut by a Mumbai born player:
7/123 – Ajaz Patel (for NZ) v Pak (Abu Dhabi) 2018
6/63 – Ravi Shastri (for Ind) v NZ (Wellington) 1981#PakvNZ
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) November 19, 2018
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) November 19, 2018
Not the first time Pakistan has lost chasing on the 4th/5th day – Remember Edgbaston,Hamilton,Melbourne,Barbados,last year tests,mental blocks in chasing on the last day,panicking under pressure situations..#PakvNZ
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) November 19, 2018
— Junaid khan 83 (@JunaidkhanREAL) November 19, 2018
Oh wow!! What an end!! Well done the Black Caps.#PAKvsNZ
— Mpumelelo Mbangwa (@mmbangwa) November 19, 2018
— حافظ ارسلان جٹ (@Gladiator_Jutt) November 19, 2018
Embarrassing defeat, losing by 4 runs after being 130-3. Sarfraz is too blame, he hasn't played a captain innings in such a long time. Feel for Azhar Ali though, not much he could do being the last man standing. #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/FFgTFaJVhN
— Mesut (@Tvvittergod1) November 19, 2018
#PAKvsNZ Hence proven, cricket is unpredictable when Pakistan is playing. Unfucking believable !
— Naveed Sherazi (@iNaveedSherazi) November 19, 2018
'A great advertisement for Test cricket' – said Kane Williamson after the Black Caps held their nerves to win the first Test at Abu Dhabi.#PakvsNZ
— jadav kakoti (@kakoti2011jadav) November 19, 2018
— NEW BEGINNING OF LIFE (@Amandeep7610) November 19, 2018
— Saboor Alii (@sabooralii) November 19, 2018
— MK (@memzbiz) November 19, 2018
ICC should acknowledge Pakistan's contribution for test cricket. No matter which team they play, the end is always a nail biting one #PAKvsNZ
— Ammar Khan (@Ammar_Khan28) November 19, 2018
— Ajmal Khan🇵🇰🏏 (@oyee_khan) November 19, 2018
— CBA – Arslan (@ComicsByArslan) November 19, 2018
— javeed Belif (@JaveedBelif) November 19, 2018
— Uzair Swati(Janbaaz) (@uswati67) November 19, 2018