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3rd Test: New Zealand close on series-levelling victory

The spinners tightened the screws on Pakistan after paceman Trent Boult struck three times with the new ball to put New Zealand on course for a series-levelling victory in the third and final test in Sharjah on Sunday.

3rd Test: New Zealand close on series-levelling victory

Sharjah: The spinners tightened the screws on Pakistan after paceman Trent Boult struck three times with the new ball to put New Zealand on course for a series-levelling victory in the third and final test in Sharjah on Sunday.

On a docile pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium where New Zealand posted their highest total in tests, the 25-year-old Boult extracted enough movement and pace to rattle the Pakistan top order.

The hosts, leading 1-0 in the series, went to tea on 147 for seven with Asad Shafiq (51) and Mohammad Talha (zero) at the crease and still trailing New Zealand by 192 runs.

Shan Masood (four) edged Boult to Tim Southee at slip in the third over, while the paceman bowled Azhar Ali (six) with the last delivery of his fourth over and then returned to dismiss Younus Khan (zero) leg before with the first ball of his next.

Off-spinner Mark Criag, who took seven wickets in the first innings, continued to punish Pakistan by dismissing opener Mohammad Hafeez and captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

Hafeez (24) looked solid before he fell in the second over after lunch, offering a tame return catch to the 27-year-old Craig. Misbah (12) then reviewed the umpire`s bat-pad decision off the same bowler but failed to overturn it.

Sarfraz Ahmed (37) took the attack to the New Zealand bowlers and added a quickfire 73 for the sixth wicket with Shafiq.

But leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who saw Sarfraz dropped twice off his bowling in one over, took out the wicketkeeper-batsman and Yasir Shah (10) to take New Zealand closer to victory.

New Zealand`s first innings finally closed on 690 with Craig (65) becoming the sixth batsman to score at least a half-century in the innings.

The visitors hit 22 sixes in total, another record for the most number of maximums in a test innings.

Paceman Rahat Ali and leg-spinner Yasir Shah picked up four wickets each for Pakistan, while part-time off-spinner Hafeez, who was reported for an illegal action after the first test in Abu Dhabi, took the remaining two wickets.

From Zee News

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