Imam and Hafeez Look for Good Start

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Pakistan vs New Zealand, Live Score, Day 4 First Test in Abu Dhabi: Imam and Hafeez Look for Good Start

(Image: AFP)







Catch all the live updates from the fourth day of the first Test match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Cricketnext.com Day 3 round-up: Medium pacer Hasan Ali and leg-spinner Yasir Shah took five wickets apiece to set Pakistan on the victory path on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Hasan took his maiden five-wicket haul with 5-45 while Yasir finished with 5-110 — his 14th five-wicket feat in an innings — as New Zealand collapsed from 220-4 to 249 all out soon after tea.

That left Pakistan with 176 to win the Test and at close, they were 37-0 with Imam-ul-Haq on 25 not out and Mohammad Hafeez unbeaten on eight, needing another 139 to win with all ten wickets in hand and two days to play.

With the Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch not worrisome for batting Pakistan has high hopes of enforcing a 1-0 lead in the three-match series while New Zealand can take heart from the fact that Pakistan lost a Test here against Sri Lanka by 21 runs after set 136 to win last year.

Bradley-John Watling with 59 and Henry Nicholls with 55 had defied Pakistan in the post-lunch session with a fighting stand of 112 for the fifth wicket but Yasir took four wickets off just 15 balls to bring his team back into contention.

Pakistan took the second new ball with the total at 201-4 soon after tea and Yasir had Nicholls caught beautifully by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and then in his next over trapped Colin de Grandhomme leg-before for three.

Nicholls hit three boundaries in his 171-ball resistance-packed knock.

An over later, Yasir ended Watling’s 145-ball defiance with a leg-before and then bowled Neil Wagner for nought. Watling had five boundaries in his knock.

Hasan then wrapped up the innings by bowling Ish Sodhi for 18 and Trent Boult caught off a miscued drive for nought to improve on his previous best figures of 4-51 against England at Lord’s in May this year.

New Zealand were in danger of losing the Test today after three quick wickets fell in the space of just 22 runs in the first session with Hasan taking two in the same over.

But Watling survived a leg-before decision on review after umpire Bruce Oxenford raised his finger off Bilal Asif for 15. Watling took full advantage of the reprieve and added 67 in the second session without losing a wicket.

It was Hasan who brought Pakistan back in the first session.

Hasan, who had opener Tom Latham yesterday, trapped a dangerous looking Taylor leg-before with a sharp incoming delivery for 19 and then had Jeet Raval caught behind by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed for 46.

Raval had added 86 for the second wicket with Kane Williamson who made 37. Raval hit five boundaries in his 120-ball knock.

Resuming at 56-1 New Zealand had pinned hopes on their skipper Williamson. But it was Raval who smashed two boundaries and then took a single off Mohammad Abbas to take New Zealand into the lead.

But just 12 runs into the lead Williamson was bowled by leg-spinner Yasir Shah to a ball that beat the batsman’s push and removed the bail.

Commentary (Pakistan innings)

Azhar Ali comes in at number 3, replacing Imam.

12.3 A Patel to Imam, OUT! LBW! First wicket for New Zealand! Imam departs. Beautiful bowling, excellent length. 40/1

12.2 A Patel to Imam, Landed outside off again, a touch quicker, the left-hander gets back and across and defends. 40/0

12.1 A Patel to Imam, Flighted outside off, Imam comes down the track and pushes it back to the bowler. 40/0

11.6 Ish Sodhi to Hafeez, Full and around off, well defended. 40/0

11.5 Ish Sodhi to Hafeez, Full and around off, pushed towards point. 40/0

11.4 Ish Sodhi to Hafeez, Very full outside off, pushed towards cover. 40/0

11.3 Ish Sodhi to Hafeez, Full and outside off, the attempted googly, left alone. 40/0

11.2 Ish Sodhi to Imam, A touch short, outside off, spinning in, worked past short leg, towards deep mid-wicket, for a single. The stand is now worth 40. 40/0

11.1 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Full and around off, pushed back to the bowler. 39/0

10.6 A Patel to Hafeez, Comes forward and watchfully keeps it out. 39/0

10.5 A Patel to Hafeez, Pitched outside leg, Hafeez looks to flick but misses and is hit on the pads. A mild LBW appeal ensues but nothing in it. 39/0

10.4 A Patel to Hafeez, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 39/0

10.3 A Patel to Hafeez, Fuller and around off, well blocked out. 39/0

10.2 A Patel to Hafeez, Full and around off, watchfully pushed back. 39/0

10.1 A Patel to Hafeez, Full and around middle, worked straight to short mid-wicket. 39/0

9.6 Ish Sodhi to Imam, On middle and leg, flicked straight to square leg. 39/0

9.5 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Oohhh…. beaten. Full and outside off, Imam comes down the track, looks to flick, is gone for all money as Watling gets ready to stump. But, the bat comes in the way at the last moment as an inside edge is induced and it hits him on the pads. 39/0

9.4 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Full and outside off, watchfully defended. 39/0

9.3 Ish Sodhi to M Hafeez, Dropped short, stays low, Hafeez adjusts well and pulls it over mid-wicket for a run. 39/0

9.2 Ish Sodhi to Imam, On middle and leg, this time the flick shot is connected, past short leg, for a single. 38/0

9.1 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Down the leg side, Imam looks to flick but the ball goes off his pads to short leg. 37/0

Ish Sodhi to bowl from the other end.

8.6 A Patel to Hafeez, The batsman defends it from within the crease. 37/0

8.5 A Patel to Hafeez, This one spins away, bowled slower through the air, MH looks to defend but gets beaten again. 37/0

8.4 A Patel to Hafeez, Full and outside off, watchfully defended. 37/0

8.3 A Patel to Hafeez, Comes down the track this time and blasts it straight back. Well stopped by the bowler. 37/0

8.2 A Patel to Hafeez, And again! Similar ball, same shot, gets beaten again! 37/0

8.1 A Patel to Hafeez, That is a jaffa! Full and outside off, Hafeez comes forward to defend but the ball holds its line and beats the outside edge. 37/0

The Kiwis are out in a huddle. The players are out in the middle as well. Ajaz Patel to start off proceedings for the day. Hafeez to face. Here we go…

Danny Morrison has a chat with Neil Wagner. On his achieved milestone of 150 Test wickets, Wagner says that it is something which he doesn’t like to think about, focussing mainly on bowling well. On not being given the new ball, Neil says that the team has missed Tim Southee in this Test, going by the horses-for-courses strategy, going in with three spinners. Defends Colin de Grandhomme, stating that he has done well in domestic cricket with the new ball. On himself, he says that he is better with the old ball. Stresses that the game is not over yet and if the Kiwis can manage to get early wickets today, anything is possible. Praises the physio for keeping the guys fit and hopes to keep playing for more time. On him moving to North Island back home, Wagner credits it to Trent Boult and says that it has come across as a great changing factor in his life.

WEATHER REPORT – It is slightly cloudy out there but there is no forecast of rain. Hopefully we get through the remainder of the game unscathed.

Welcome everyone to Day 4 and what could and should most possibly be the last day of this opening Test. Pakistan are firmly in the driver’s seat and the visitors will have to hope for an insane spell from their bowlers to make the hosts sweat as they look to wipe off the remaining 139 runs required. The pitch has eased out and if last evening is anything to go by, the Pakistan openers look more than comfortable out there in the middle. All things said, the odds are stacked firmly in favour of Pakistan taking a 1-0 lead in this three-Test series. Join us for live action in a bit!

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… Day 4, Session 1 …

Another 139 is what is needed and the ‘hosts’ have 10 wickets in hand. They are outright favorites to take a 1-0 lead. But Pakistan being Pakistan you just never know what to expect of them. Day 4 will most probably be the last day of the Test match and one would expect New Zealand to give it their all. Will there be a surprise in store or will Pakistan continue their dominance? Join us to find out at 1000 local (0600 GMT). Till then, take care and goodbye.

The third session though changed the whole complexion of this game. Yasir Shah and Hasan Ali came to the fore, especially the former. He ran through the middle and lower order and finished with a fifer. Hasan Ali too picked up 5 and the two ensured the lead did not get past 200.

The day began with New Zealand trailing by 18 runs and they were already a wicket down. However, Kane Williamson and Jeet Raval added 86 and took the Kiwis into the lead. Pakistan then fought back as they managed to pick a few wickets quickly but a massive 112-run stand between Nicholls and Watling saw the visitors go on top. The two scored half tons and the Black Caps then, seemed like would stretch their lead to around 250.

Pakistan’s session and it is Pakistan’s day. First they got the last 6 wickets for 29 runs and then, their openers not only ensured they end Day 3 unscathed but have also deducted 37 runs from the target.

The umpires have offered the batsmen the light and they have taken it. The players are walking off the field and THAT WILL BE STUMPS ON DAY 3!

7.6 Ish Sodhi to Hafeez, Shorter delivery on off stump, Hafeez covers the spin on the delivery and defends it with a straight bat. 37/0

7.5 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Flatter and on the pads, Imam flicks to square leg for a single. 36/0

7.4 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Full and overpitched outside off, driven by Imam. A diving Kane at cover stops any runs. 35/0

7.3 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Good ball this! Starts outside off, bounces a lot after landing and hits Imam on the thigh pad and lobs up. Short leg takes it and there is a small appeal but Ian Gould signals to the thigh suggesting it came off the thigh pad. 35/0

7.2 Ish Sodhi to Imam, Fuller and outside off, Imam takes a big stride and defends it. 35/0

7.1 Ish Sodhi to Imam, FOUR BYES! Around the wicket, landing outside off, grips and turns. Beats the keeper and runs down to the fine leg fence for four byes. 35/0

Spin from both ends. Ish Sodhi to roll his arm.

6.6 A Patel to Hafeez, Looped up on off, Hafeez defends it coming ahead. Maiden over to start off with for Ajaz. 31/0

6.5 A Patel to Hafeez, Full and flighted on off, Hafeez plays it back patiently. 31/0

6.4 A Patel to Hafeez, Full and on middle this time, Hafeez defends it straight back to the bowler. 31/0

6.3 A Patel to Hafeez, Fuller and on off stump, driven towards mid off. 31/0

6.2 A Patel to Hafeez, This ball is on length, Hafeez goes back and keeps it out well in the end. 31/0

6.1 A Patel to Hafeez, Looped up outside off, Hafeez plays it with soft hands to point. 31/0

Ajaz Patel is into the attack.

5.6 de Grandhomme to Hafeez, The ball was on a length and outside off, Hafeez guides it in the gap to the left of point for a single. 31/0

5.5 de Grandhomme to M Hafeez, FOUR! Hafeez puts his weight on the front foot and drives it beautifully through the covers for another four! The runs are flowing here. This ball was overpitched and outside off and too easy for the master technician. 30/0

5.4 de Grandhomme to Hafeez, Short outside off, Hafeez defends it toward point. 26/0

5.3 de Grandhomme to Hafeez, Slightly fuller and on off, Hafeez is half forward and plays it to cover. 26/0

5.2 de Grandhomme to Hafeez, Good length on the off stump, Hafeez is solid in defense. 26/0

5.1 de Grandhomme to Imam, Good length and at a gentle pace but drifting onto the pads, Imam flicks it to deep square leg for a single. 26/0

4.6 T Boult to Hafeez, On middle this time, Hafeez stays inside his crease and defends it. 25/0

4.5 T Boult to Hafeez, Short of a length and above off stump, Hafeez looks to guide it towards the third man boundary but Grandhomme at gully makes a diving stop. 25/0

4.4 T Boult to Hafeez, Wide outside off, Hafeez doesn’t need to play at those. 25/0

4.3 T Boult to Imam, Short of a good length outside off, Imam defends it into the gap on the off side towards cover point again. The batsmen run one. 25/0

4.2 T Boult to Imam, Outside off on a length, Imam stands tall and defends it to cover point. 24/0

4.1 T Boult to Imam, Short of a good length and on the pads this time, Imam flicks it away to square leg and comes back for the second. Really good running that! 24/0

3.6 de Grandhomme to Hafeez, Around off, Hafeez leans forward and punches it to covers. 22/0

3.5 de Grandhomme to Hafeez, Full and around leg, driven back towards the bowler. 22/0

3.4 de Grandhomme to Hafeez, Good leave. Very good leave. On a good length on that fourth stump line. Comes back in a bit. Hafeez it all the way through to the keeper. 22/0

3.3 de Grandhomme to Imam, Outside off again, cut past cover-point for a run. 22/0

3.2 de Grandhomme to Imam, Length ball outside off, Imam leaves it alone. 21/0

3.1 de Grandhomme to Imam, FOUR! Edge and away. New Zealand are leaking boundaries. Fuller ball on middle and off. Imam plays across the wrong line. Gets an edge which rolls between the cordon and away to the third man fence. 21/0

2.6 T Boult to Hafeez, This is on off, Hafeez is solid in defense. 17/0

2.5 T Boult to Hafeez, Angles this into the batter, Hafeez gets behind the line and defends it. 17/0

2.4 T Boult to Hafeez, Shortish and on middle, it is worked to mid-wicket. 17/0

2.3 T Boult to Hafeez, Pure timing! Not for a boundary but a couple. Hafeez uses the pace of the bowler and then guides it through backward point. They run two. 17/0

2.2 T Boult to Hafeez, Good length around off, the batsman guides it towards point. 15/0

2.1 T Boult to Hafeez, Fuller in length and outside off, the batsman shoulders arms to it. 15/0

1.6 de Grandhomme to Imam, On a length and around off, it is blocked. 15/0

1.5 de Grandhomme to Imam, Once again it is nicely punched but does not find the gap, it goes to the cover-point fielder. 15/0

1.4 de Grandhomme to Imam, FOUR! Imam looks in great touch out there. Slightly short and outside off, Imam rocks back and slaps it through cover-point. It races away. He is dealing in boundaries at the moment. 15/0

1.3 de Grandhomme to Imam, Back of a length on middle, Imam defends it onto the ground. 11/0

1.2 de Grandhomme to Imam, Good length and outside off, the batsman makes a leave. 11/0

1.1 de Grandhomme to Imam, Full on middle, no swing on offer. It is driven back to the bowler. 11/0

Colin de Grandhomme to bowl from the other end.

0.6 T Boult to Hafeez, Back of a length on middle, it is kept out. 11 from the first over, an expensive start by Boult. 11/0

0.5 T Boult to Imam, Runs again! This is on the pads, Imam flicks it through square leg. They run three. Imam is in the mood to finish it today. 11/0

0.4 T Boult to Imam, Back of a length on off, Imam pushes it to covers. 8/0

0.3 T Boult to Imam, FOUR! Take that, says Imam! This is delightful! Full and around off, Imam leans into it, gets right on top of the delivery and strokes it through covers for a boundary. Pakistan off to a flier here. 8/0

0.2 T Boult to Imam, Good comeback! This is fuller and on the stumps, stays a touch low. Imam pushes it back to the bowler. 4/0

0.1 T Boult to Imam, FOUR! Cracking start to the Pakistan innings! That has been crunched! Slightly short and outside off, Imam rocks back and punches it through covers for a boundary. 4/0



First Published: November 19, 2018, 11:07 AM IST