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Azhar, Shafiq hundreds put Pakistan in command against New Zealand

media Pakistani batsman Asad Shafiq in action against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi. Aamir Qureshi/AFP

New Zealand were 26 for 2 in their second innings against Pakistan at the end of the third day of the third and deciding Test match in Abu Dhabi On Wednesday. Kane Williamson and William Sommerville were the unbeaten batsmen at the crease for New Zealand who trail Pakistan by 48 runs.

Earlier, Pakistan were dismissed for 348 runs in their first innings giving them a lead of 74 runs.Resuming on their overnight score of 139 for 3, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq scored a hundred each to raise prospects of a huge score that would have given Pakistan a decisive first innings lead.

However, Ali’s dismissal, following a 201-run partnership with Shafiq, triggered a collapse as Pakistan lost their next six wickets for just 64 runs.

Debutant spinner William Sommerville claimed four wickets while Ajaz Patel and Trent Boult took two wickets each.

“But it was disappointing that we couldn’t get a big lead. It happens in cricket and you have to give credit to the bowlers.

“It’s always nice to bat with Azhar,” said Shafiq.

“We need to get them out quickly tomorrow so that we don't need to chase a lot of runs.”

The three-match series is tied at 1-1.


(with AFP)

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