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Pakistan in the driver's seat on Day 1

Uday Bhatia
476   //    16 Nov 2018, 23:59 IST

It was a complete performance from Pakistan's bowlers
It was a complete performance from Pakistan's bowlers

Pakistan finds themselves in the driver's seat on Day 1 of the first Test against New Zealand at Abu Dhabi after a brilliant performance by their bowlers. Sarfraz Ahmed said ahead of the match that the visitors might find the Pakistani bowlers quite hot to handle and that is exactly how it all panned out as the visitors were bowled out for 153.

After opting to bat in the first Test, New Zealand could not find the right momentum to get going in their first innings and at 39/3 the visitors were in a spot of bother. That's when a calm Williamson along with Henry Nicholls steadied the ship with a 72-run stand. However, all that hard work was wasted when the latter played a loose shot and that opened the floodgates.

Williamson, who gave the visitors hope for a decent total, fell for a hard-fought 63. The Kiwis never got going and collapsed from 111/3 to 153; which is the lowest first innings total in Abu Dhabi.

On the other hand, every Pakistani bowler did a decent job with the ball in his hand. Yasir Shah was the pick of the bowlers, having picked up the big wickets of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham. Mohammad Abbas was persistent with his tight lines with the new ball and he accounted for Jeet Raval.

When the Pakistanis came out to bat in the last session and they lost both their openers but Haris Sohail and Azhar Ali ensured that their team did not suffer further setbacks. Ajaz Patel on debut was quite decent in his first spell and got the ball to whiz past the edge on a few occasions.

With the ball spinning sharply and Ish Sodhi yet to bowl it will be interesting to see New Zealand's response after their poor batting performance. For the Kiwis to make a comeback into this Test, these two have to deliver the goods. 

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