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Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq Tons Help Pakistan Take Crucial Lead On Day 3

A mammoth 201-run fourth-wicket partnership between Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq helped Pakistan take a an important 74-run lead within the first innings on Day Three of the 3rd and ultimate Take a look at towards New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Upon getting bundled out for 348, Pakistan ended the day in a commanding place as New Zealand have been 26/2 of their 2d innings at stumps. Smashing his 15th Take a look at hundred, Azhar ended up scoring 134 whilst Shafiq scored 104 earlier than debutant off-spinner Will Somerville (Four-75) ran in the course of the Pakistan decrease heart order. For New Zealand, Kane Williamson unbeaten on 14 and giving him corporate used to be nightwatchman William Somerville. New Zealand are trailing Pakistan by way of 48 runs with 8 wickets intact.

Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped Jeet Raval for a nought whilst leg-spinner Yasir Shah had Tom Latham stuck for ten, his 199th wicket in Exams. Yasir now wishes only one extra wicket to turn into the quickest to 200 wickets, in his 33rd Take a look at, a file these days held by way of Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who reached the milestone in 36 Exams, 82 years in the past.

Shafiq after the day’s play asserted that Pakistan should prohibit New Zealand of their 2d innings after his facet didn’t chase down 176 within the first Take a look at.

“It is all the time great to bat with Azhar,” stated Shafiq. “But it surely used to be disappointing that we could not get a large lead. It occurs in cricket and you have got to offer credit score to the bowlers.

“We want to get them out briefly the next day to come in order that we do not want to chase a large number of runs.”

Azhar and Shafiq placed on 201 for the fourth wicket, however when they have been disregarded handiest Sarfraz Ahmed (25) and Babar Azam (14) introduced some resistance.

Azhar edged medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme in the course of the slips to finish his first century since Would possibly 2017 towards the West Indies in Dominica – and his first hundred towards New Zealand.

He took 210 balls to succeed in the three-figure mark, earlier than being stuck sweeping off Somerville, simply earlier than tea.

Shafiq introduced up his 12th Take a look at ton with a pointy unmarried off Somerville earlier than falling leg-before to Patel to a directly supply.

Somerville then had Azam and Hasan Ali (nought) bowled and wrapped up the innings by way of getting Sarfraz stuck at mid-wicket.

Previous, Azhar and Shafiq annoyed New Zealand’s seek for early wickets as they took Pakistan to 224-Three at lunch.

New Zealand skipper Williamson took the second one new ball within the 81st over with Pakistan very easily positioned at 213-Three, however the bowlers struggled to extract a lot lifestyles from a flat pitch on the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Pakistan levelled the sequence with an innings and 16-run win in the second one Take a look at in Dubai.

(With AFP inputs)

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