Hasan Ali Dismissed, NZ Need One Wicket to Win

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Pakistan vs New Zealand, Live Score, Day 4 First Test in Abu Dhabi: Hasan Ali Dismissed, NZ Need One Wicket to Win

(Reuters Image)







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)

51.6 N Wagner to Abbas, Comes around the wicket and bowls on off stump, Abbas does well to defend it off the back foot. 165/9

51.5 N Wagner to Abbas, Wide outside off stump, Abbas lets it go. 165/9

51.4 N Wagner to Ali, Length delivery outside off stump, Azhar guides it to third man. The batsmen cross ends. They need 11 more for victory. 165/9

51.3 N Wagner to Ali, Good length delivery on off stump, the batsman defends off the back foot. 164/9

51.2 N Wagner to Ali, Length delivery outside off stump, the batsman cuts it towards point. 164/9

51.1 N Wagner to Ali, Wide outside off stump, Azhar tries to play that but misses it. 164/9

Mohammad Abbas is the last man in.

50.6 A Patel to Ali, OUT! Yesterday’s hero could be today’s villain! Hasan Ali, what have you done? No need for him to play this shot at this moment, the ball was flighted outside off and Hasan’s eyes lit up on seeing it. He goes for a huge slog over mid-wicket but fails to connect fully. The ball hits the top half of the bat and goes to Tim Southee, who is on as a substitute fielder in place of Ross Taylor. Really good catch under pressure as the ball was high in the air and would’ve been a difficult catch in the sun. 12 required now and only 1 wicket left. 164/9

50.5 A Patel to Ali, The batsman has swept that one through the leg side. The batsmen have run through for a single. 164/8

50.4 A Patel to Ali, In the air and falls in no-man’s land. Azhar Ali lofts it over cover. The ball was on off and spinning away. Really good shot under pressure. Played with a lot of control. 2 runs taken by the batsmen. 163/8

50.3 A Patel to Ali, Huge appeal but there was an inside edge there. Flatter on middle, Azhar Ali just brings the bat down in time to defend it. Luckily, the ball hits the inside edge and hits him on the pads. 161/8

50.2 A Patel to Ali, Short and outside off, Azhar cuts it straight to point. 161/8

50.1 A Patel to Ali, Flighted and on middle, Azhar comes ahead and keeps it out. 161/8

49.6 N Wagner to Ali, BEATEN! Good length delivery outside off stump, Hasan tries to go towards mid-wicket but gets completely beaten on this one. 161/8

49.5 N Wagner to Ali, Bowls a bouncer, Hasan does well to duck under it. 161/8

49.4 N Wagner to A Ali, Outside off, flayed through the covers for a single. 161/8

49.3 N Wagner to Ali, Outside off, swinging away, left alone. 160/8

49.2 N Wagner to Ali, FOUR! Hammered away! Length delivery outside off stump, Azhar hits it straight past the bowler for a beautiful boundary. 16 more to win! 160/8

49.1 N Wagner to Ali, Full outside off stump, Azhar drives it towards covers. 156/8

48.6 A Patel to Ali, Goes for another slog an gets it off the inner half through mid-wicket. They do not run. 156/8

48.5 A Patel to Ali, Sensible from Hasan Ali. Comes forward and defends. 156/8

48.4 A Patel to Ali, A wild slog from Ali, he misses. 156/8

48.3 A Patel to Ali, Comes down the track, Azhar comes down the track and pushes it towards long on for a single. 156/8

48.2 A Patel to Ali, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 155/8

48.1 A Patel to Ali, Not Out! Azhar and Pakistan breathe a huge sigh of relief. This one was down the leg side and Azhar looks to work it away to fine leg but misses it. Watling fails to gather it properly and the ball rolls off his glove and onto the stumps. They appeal for stumping but the back foot of Azhar is firmly on the ground when the bails fall. The foot does come up slightly but the bails had already fallen by then. The tension in the air is palpable. 155/8

Is that the 9th wicket? Watling has appealed for a stumping against Azhar. Referred upstairs…

47.6 N Wagner to Ali, Short and on off, Hasan is inside the crease and defends. 155/8

47.5 N Wagner to Ali, Outside off and full, Hasan leaves it alone. 155/8

Hasan Ali is in at no. 10.

47.4 N Wagner to Shah, OUT! There’s the eighth one! Full one after two short ones and Yasir just prods ahead and looks to play it to cover. It takes the outside edge and Ross Taylor who is between first and second slip keeps low to his left and holds on to a good catch. 21 runs still required! New Zealand look to be taking a grip of this game now. 4 wickets have been lost for just 8 runs. 155/8

47.3 N Wagner to Shah, Bumper outside off, Yasir just sways and lets it go through. 155/7

47.2 N Wagner to Shah, Good length well outside off, Yasir watches it go through to the keeper. 155/7

47.1 N Wagner to Ali, Slightly short of a length on off, Azhar pushes it to sweeper for a single. 155/7

46.6 A Patel to Shah, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 154/7

46.5 A Patel to Shah, The ball is way outside the off stump, easy leave for the batsman. 154/7

46.4 A Patel to Shah, Tossed up on middle stump, Yasir defends off the back foot. 154/7

Caught behind given out by the umpire. Yasir Shah immediately reviews after consulting his partner. Was it the noise of the bat hitting the ground?

46.3 Patel to Shah, NOT OUT! The bat has hit the ground! Lucky escape for Yasir. Tossed up outside off stump, Yasir goes for the drive but misses it completely and is beaten on this one. Watling catches and appeals and the umpire raises his finger! Yasir consults Azhar and goes for the review. Ultra Edge shows no spike. The bat had hit the ground. Phew! 154/7

Yasir Shah joins Azhar Ali in the middle.

46.2 Patel to B Asif, OUT! BOWLED! New Zealand are on fire. Bowls straight on middle stump, Bilal goes for the slog sweep but misses it completely and gets bowled. Pakistan lose their seventh wicket. Looks like Azhar Ali is stranded of partners. 154/7

46.1 A Patel to Asif, Tossed up on middle stump, Bilal defends off the front foot. 154/6

45.6 N Wagner to Ali, On a length outside off again, Azhar lets it go through. Maiden over. 154/6

45.5 N Wagner to Ali, Good length, keeps a bit low on the off pole. Azhar defends on the back foot and gets the under edge that runs to gully. 154/6

45.4 N Wagner to Ali, On a length again and outside off, Azhar leaves it again. 154/6

45.3 N Wagner to Ali, Just short of a good length, Ali wants nothing to do with it as it well outside off. 154/6

45.2 N Wagner to Ali, Similar line again, good pace on this one. Azhar lets it go again. He holds the key here and needs to be patient and wait for the bad balls. 154/6

45.1 N Wagner to Ali, Good length ball angling away after landing on off, Azhar shoulders his arms to it. 154/6

Bilal Asif is the new man in at 8.

44.6 A Patel to Ahmed, OUT! The decision is overturned! The game is changing big time. Tossed up on middle stump, Sarfraz goes for the sweep but misses. The ball goes in the air and gets caught by BJ Watling. The umpire shakes his head. New Zealand go for the review. Ultra edge shows a spike when the ball goes past his glove! Sarfraz has to walk back. They still need 22 more to win this match. 154/6

Is that LBW? Or is it a catch? It has been given not out. New Zealand reckon Sarfraz is out.

44.5 A Patel to Ahmed, Floated on middle stump, the skipper defends off the back foot. 154/5

44.4 A Patel to Ahmed, BEATEN! Drifts away from the batsman, Sarfraz goes for the drive but gets completely beaten on this one. 154/5

44.3 A Patel to Ahmed, Tossed up on off stump, the skipper plays it towards point. 154/5

44.2 A Patel to Ali, Flighted delivery on leg stump, Azhar pushes it towards mid-wicket. The batsmen cross ends. 154/5

44.1 A Patel to Ali, Tossed up on middle stump, Azhar defends off the front foot. 153/5

43.6 N Wagner to Ahmed, Short one outside off, Sarfraz plays it safely to point. 153/5

43.5 N Wagner to Ahmed, Over the wicket to Sarfraz and the ball is short and angling away, the skipper ducks and lets it go. 153/5

43.4 N Wagner to Ali, Short and on middle again, Azhar gets inside the line and pulls it away to deep fine leg for a single. 153/5

43.3 N Wagner to Ali, Around the wicket, short and well outside off, Azhar ducks to let it go. 152/5

43.2 N Wagner to Ahmed, Slower one outside off, driven well by the captain and he’s off the mark immediately. The batsmen come back for three. 152/5

43.1 N Wagner to Ali, TOP EDGE, SAFE! Nearly another wicket. A short ball, Azhar goes for the pull but the bounce gets big on him. He miscues it but the top edge does not carry to Trent Boult running in from long leg. A single taken. 149/5

42.6 A Patel to Ali, Tossed up outside off stump, Azhar cuts it towards point. The fielder misfields and the batsmen take a run. 148/5

42.5 A Patel to Ali, Loopy delivery on middle stump, Azhar defends off the front foot. 147/5

Sarfraz Ahmed is the next batsman in.

42.4 Patel to Azam, Run-out! Unnecessary from Pakistan. Absolute madness in the middle. The ball is full and at the pads, Azam plays it to short fine leg. Azhar Ali has come charging down and it was his call but Azam was ball-watching and doesn’t run through. Azhar passes him and reaches the striker’s end first, leaving Azam stranded in the middle. There was no need for this as it could set the cat among the pigeons. The fielder at square leg throws it back to Ajaz who dislodges the bails with his foot by mistake. He then goes on to uproot the stump with the ball in his hand. 29 still required. Do you still think New Zealand have a chance? 147/5

42.3 A Patel to Azam, Flatter on middle, Azam comes forward and defends it with a straight bat. 147/4

42.2 A Patel to Azam, Full and pitched on leg, Babar gets his bat in front of his pad as he defends. 147/4

42.1 A Patel to Azam, Flighted on pads, Babar plays it into the ground on the leg side. 147/4

41.6 N Wagner to Azam, Again short of a length delivery, the batsman pulls it towards mid on. The batsmen get three runs. 147/4

41.5 N Wagner to B Azam, Short of a length delivery, Babar pulls it towards mid-wicket. The batsmen get two runs. 144/4

41.4 N Wagner to Azam, Short ball again, the batsman wanted to pull but gets it off his shoulder towards point. 142/4

41.3 N Wagner to Azam, Again a bouncer, the batsman does well to duck under it. 142/4

41.2 N Wagner to Azam, Bowls a bouncer, Babar lets it go. 142/4

41.1 N Wagner to Azam, Full outside off stump, Babar drives it towards covers. The batsmen pick up a couple. 142/4

40.6 A Patel to Ali, Grip and turn for Ajaz as this ball is pitched on off and beats the outside edge of Azhar who was trying to defend, as it turns away at the last moment. Watling is quick to remove the bails but the foot has come back down by that time. 140/4

40.5 A Patel to Azam, This one is flatter and quicker on off stump, Azam just drops it down on the off side towards point and picks up a quick single. The point fielder has a shy at the non-striker’s end but misses it. 140/4

40.4 A Patel to Azam, FOUR! Freebie for the new batsman. Short and slow outside off, all the time in the world for Azam to rock back and cut it away to the point boundary. 37 away now. 139/4

40.3 A Patel to Ali, Good use of the feet here as Azhar comes down the wicket and plays this ball which was on middle for a quick single to mid on. 135/4

40.2 A Patel to Ali, Similar trajectory, punched straight to cover-point this time by Ali. 134/4

40.1 A Patel to Azam, Flatter one on off stump, Babar punches it away to sweeper cover for a single and is off the mark. 134/4

39.6 N Wagner to Ali, Four leaves in a row for Azhar. Again wide outside off stump, Azhar lets it go. 133/4

39.5 N Wagner to Ali, Bowls wide outside off stump, the batsman lets it go again. 133/4

39.4 N Wagner to Ali, Again on a good length outside off stump, the batsman lets it go. 133/4

39.3 N Wagner to Ali, Good length delivery outside off stump, Ali lets it go. 133/4

39.2 N Wagner to Ali, Short of a length delivery again, the batsman defends off the back foot. 133/4

39.1 N Wagner to Ali, Short of a length delivery outside off stump, Azhar tries to pull but gets a bottom edge on that one. 133/4

38.6 A Patel to Azam, Good ball again, on middle. Babar stays back in the crease to defend it. 133/4

38.5 A Patel to Azam, Flatter one on off stump, Azam defends it on the back foot. 133/4

38.4 Patel to Azam, Woah, great ball again! Azam is very lucky as this one bounces a tad too much and turns away to go in between bat and pad. Clips the pad on the way through but the ball is too high and the pad was outside off so there was no chance of an LBW there. The Ultra-Edge shows us that the ball is away from the inside edge too so good decision by the umpire, as well as NZ not to go upstairs. 133/4

38.3 A Patel to Azam, What a delivery! This full one on off draws Azam forward into a defensive shot and beats his outside edge as it turns away at the final moment. 133/4

38.2 A Patel to Azam, Looped up outside off, Azam comes ahead and lets it go as it turns away. 133/4

38.1 A Patel to Ali, Full and flighted on midde, paddled away to deep fine leg by Azhar. The batsmen come back for three. 133/4

Ajaz Patel into the attack.

37.6 N Wagner to Azam, Another bumper, Azam does well to evade it. 130/4

37.5 N Wagner to Azam, There we go, the bouncer follows the full one. Azam ducks under it. 130/4

37.4 N Wagner to Azam, Full and outside off, Azam comes ahead and defends it. 130/4

Welcome back. 46 runs needed, 6 wickets in hand. Babar Azam is the new batsman in. And to face.

… Day 4, Session 2 …

The game though, is firmly in the favor of Pakistan and they just need to play each ball on its merit as they look to go 1-0 up. Just 46 more runs required! On the other hand, if New Zealand manage to get another couple of wickets quickly after the break, the game will open up again. Join us in a while for the post-Lunch session.

The excitement of the first half an hour had been completely blunted by brilliant and patient batting by Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali. New Zealand were plotting another Pakistan collapse as they managed to pick up three wickets early on but they encountered two rocks in Ali and Shafiq. The hosts’ ship sailed clear of troubled waters and reached a very comfortable 130-3 before Wagner played on Shafiq’s patience and got him out on the last ball before Lunch.

37.3 N Wagner to A Shafiq, OUT! No fifty for Shafiq! The barrage of bouncers has done the trick in the end! This one is on a good length and slightly shaping away and Asad plays a loose shot outside off. The good length ball was only the second one that this bouncer machine, Wagner has bowled today. And it takes the slightest of feathers as Watling gobbles it up at a good height behind the wickets. Shafiq will be kicking himself as he would’ve liked to finish the game off and we were moments away from the break. With that, it will also be LUNCH on Day 4. 130/4

37.2 N Wagner to Shafiq, Another bumper on middle, let through again. 130/3

37.1 N Wagner to Shafiq, No surprises as it’s another bouncer outside leg, Shafiq ducks again. 130/3

36.6 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Flighted on off stump, Ali drives to short cover. 130/3

36.5 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Flatter and quicker at the pads, tucked away towards square leg for a couple. Azhar Ali into the 40s now. 130/3

36.4 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Full toss at the pads, Azhar flicks it to short fine leg. 128/3

36.3 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Padded away for the third time in a row as the ball lands well outside leg stump again. 128/3

36.2 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Similar line again, Azhar pads it away again. 128/3

36.1 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Around the wicket and bowled well outside leg, Azhar pads it away. 128/3

35.6 N Wagner to Shafiq, Oh hello, there we go again. Ends the over with a short one aimed at Shafiq’s head. He just ducks again. Quite an exercise. Maiden over. 128/3

35.5 N Wagner to Shafiq, Finally, this one is on good length and just outside off, Shafiq is forced to play at this one as he drives to cover. 128/3

35.4 N Wagner to Shafiq, This is getting monotonous now, same delivery and similarly left alone. 128/3

35.3 N Wagner to Shafiq, Barrage of bouncers here, there is not even a thought of playing at it as Shafiq just lets it go again. 128/3

35.2 N Wagner to Shafiq, Wagner serving more of the same, Shafiq ducks again. 128/3

35.1 N Wagner to Shafiq, Short one aimed at the head, Shafiq is content to duck and let it go. 128/3

34.6 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Looped up on off stump, Ali dead bats it. 128/3

34.5 Sodhi to Ali, This one is full and outside off and turning away. Ali pads it away, Sodhi appeals but the ball was well outside off and it was turning away. 128/3

34.4 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Wrong ‘un on off stump, Shafiq plays it away to mid-wicket for a single. 128/3

34.3 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Short and outside off, cut away to point. 127/3

34.2 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, FOUR! Too full and taken on the full by Shafiq and swept away behind square on the leg side. The deep square leg fielder dives but cannot stop this one. Six away from his half-century. 127/3

34.1 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Looped up outside off, easily driven to sweeper cover for a run. 123/3

33.6 N Wagner to Shafiq, Six bouncers in the over! Shafiq ducks again and is content to let the ball go through. In no hurry. 122/3

33.5 N Wagner to Shafiq, Another bumper, Shafiq just ducks and lets it go. 122/3

33.4 N Wagner to Ali, Another short ball on middle, this one doesn’t climb as much. Azhar pulls it away to deep fine leg for a single. 122/3

33.3 N Wagner to Ali, Short and outside off, Azhar attempts the pull again, this time in front of square on the leg side. Finds the fielder though. 121/3

33.2 N Wagner to Ali, FOUR! Short again and Azhar is ready this time. Pulls it away behind square leg, always in control and all along the ground for four. 121/3

33.1 N Wagner to Ali, Bouncer first up on middle, Azhar ducks underneath it. 117/3

Wagner into the attack now.

32.6 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Outside off on a length, Ali guides it to sweeper to retain strike. 117/3

32.5 Sodhi to Ali, Wide outside off and turning away, Azhar plays the cut and misses the ball completely. 116/3

32.4 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Short again and pulled away by Shafiq to deep mid-wicket for a single. 116/3

32.3 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Flatter and pitching on leg, Azhar flicks it in front of square on leg for another run. 115/3

32.2 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Short and outside off, cut away to sweeper cover for a run. 114/3

32.1 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Fuller and on off, Asad is well forward in defense. 113/3

Sodhi changes ends.

31.6 T Boult to Ali, Angling away and well outside off, left alone. 113/3

31.5 T Boult to Ali, Over the wicket this time, on a good length and off stump line. Azhar is half ahead and defends. 113/3

31.4 T Boult to Ali, Good length outside off, Azhar is solid in defense. 113/3

31.3 T Boult to Shafiq, Full and slower outside off, Shafiq guides it on the front foot to third man for a single. 113/3

31.2 T Boult to Shafiq, Slightly fuller and outside off, pushed away through cover-point and comes back for two. Good running that! 112/3

31.1 T Boult to Shafiq, Good length outside off, left alone by Asad. 110/3

30.6 A Patel to Ali, FOUR! Terrific shot. Full and around off, Azhar gets down and sweeps it through mid-wicket for a boundary! 11 from the over, Pakistan pressing on the ‘finish-it-quickly’ button. 66 more to win. Azhar moves to 30 while the stand is worth 62. 110/3

30.5 A Patel to Ali, Outside off, played straight to point. 106/3

30.4 A Patel to Ali, Around off, well blocked out. 106/3

30.3 A Patel to Ali, Full and around off, watchfully pushed it back to the bowler. 106/3

30.2 A Patel to Ali, FOUR! And again! This time by a different batsman, for a different result! Pakistan growing in confidence now. Full and outside leg, Azhar brings out the reverse sweep and gets it through point for a boundary! 106/3

30.1 A Patel to Shafiq, Aha… innovations coming up now. After a series of blocks and flicks, we now get to see a reverse sweep. Pitched outside leg, helped through third man for three runs. 100 COMES UP FOR PAKISTAN. 74 more needed. 102/3

29.6 T Boult to Ali, Outside off, left alone. 99/3

29.5 T Boult to Ali, This time he stays back in his crease and blocks. 99/3

29.4 T Boult to Ali, Full and just outside off, watchfully pushed out. 99/3

29.3 T Boult to A Ali, A delightful cover drive, finding the gap, keeping the scoreboard ticking and reducing the runs required by 2 more. 50-RUN STAND IS UP BETWEEN THESE TWO. Taken the sting out of the New Zealand attack. 99/3

29.2 T Boult to Ali, Azhar tries to tap and run towards mid on but realizes that he hit it too well. Sends his partner back. 97/3

29.1 T Boult to Shafiq, Good awareness, good batting. Shafiq notices that the fielders on the off side were not quite charging to the ball. Taps this ball with soft hands, just wide of cover and calls his partner through for a quick single. We are getting to that stage where the Black Caps need wickets and that too, in a bunch. 79 more needed now. 97/3

28.6 A Patel to Ali, Pitched outside leg, Ali pads it away. 96/3

28.5 A Patel to Ali, That stays low. It is around leg but Azhar manages to keep it out with a back foot defense. That nearly trickled back onto the stumps off the inside edge. 96/3

28.4 A Patel to Shafiq, Clips this through mid-wicket for a run. 96/3

28.3 A Patel to Shafiq, Comes over the wicket, lands it around middle, watchfully kept out. 95/3

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28.2 A Patel to Shafiq, FOUR! The partnership continues to grow in confidence. Full on middle, Shafiq comes down the track and whips it over square leg. Acres of free space available in that region. Shafiq has moved to 30 now. His third boundary. 95/3

28.1 A Patel to Ali, Landed outside of spinning away, punched through point for a single. 91/3

27.6 T Boult to Shafiq, A bouncer to end the over, Shaifiq ducks. 90/3

27.5 T Boult to Shafiq, Full and just outside off, watchfully defended. 90/3

27.4 T Boult to Shafiq, Landed outside off, not played at. 90/3

27.3 T Boult to Shafiq, A bouncer on middle, Shafiq ducks. 90/3

27.2 T Boult to Shafiq, Landed outside off, steered behind point for a couple. 90/3

27.1 T Boult to Shafiq, On a length outside off, well defended. 88/3

26.6 A Patel to Ali, Goes right back in his crease and defends. 88/3

26.5 A Patel to Ali, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery. 88/3

26.4 A Patel to Ali, Outside off, a touch too wide, left alone. 88/3

26.3 A Patel to Shafiq, 4000 TEST RUNS FOR ASAD SHAFIQ! Well played. Important player for Pakistan. Keeps his cool in tough circumstances. Full and around middle, Asad comes down the track and flicks it off the inner half through mid-wicket for a single. 88/3

26.2 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and around off, watchfully defended. 87/3

26.1 A Patel to Ali, Landed outside off, pushed through point for a single. 87/3

25.6 T Boult to Ali, On middle and leg, helped through square leg for a run. 86/3

25.5 T Boult to Shafiq, The batsman has played it to the point region. They pick up a single. 85/3

25.4 T Boult to Shafiq, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 84/3

25.3 T Boult to Ali, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a single. 84/3

25.2 T Boult to Ali, Full and outside off, swinging away, left alone. 83/3

25.1 T Boult to Ali, Down the leg side, flicked through square leg for a couple. 83/3

Trent Boult has been summoned. First over of pace today.

DRINKS BREAK. What an opening hour. Just what a cricket fan would have loved. Three quick wickets, then a partnership following it. It seems like Azhar and Shafiq have eased out proceedings but these are two teams playing in a country where anything is possible any time. You can never rule out a collapse, nor can you avoid a fightback. Hold on to your seats. 95 runs needed, 7 wickets in hand…

24.6 A Patel to Shafiq, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 81/3

24.5 A Patel to Shafiq, Full again, Asad reaches out and drives it back to the bowler. 81/3

24.4 A Patel to Shafiq, Around off, pushed back to the bowler. 81/3

24.3 A Patel to Shafiq, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery. 81/3

24.2 A Patel to A Shafiq, Full and outside off, Asad pushes at it with soft hands and gets an outside edge which dies down in front of slip. 81/3

24.1 A Patel to Shafiq, FOUR! Second boundary in the space of 3 balls. Short and around off, spinning away, Shafiq rocks back and cut it through point to exploit the massive real estate over there. Punches Azhar’s gloves with a smile. This partnership is now worth 33 with Shafiq making 22 of those. 81/3

23.6 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Around off, AA stays back and just about blocks it out. 77/3

23.5 Ish Sodhi to Ali, FOUR! Bad ball and punished. A full toss, on middle, Azhar gets down, reaches out and sweeps it behind square leg for a boundary. The runs required come into double figures now. 77/3

23.4 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Full and outside off, this time Ali reads the hand, comes forward and pushes it back. 73/3

23.3 Ish Sodhi to Ali, There comes the googly, skids on after pitching, Azhar does not pick it at all, playing it from the crease, reading it off the pitch and just about dabbing it towards short leg. 73/3

23.2 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Very full outside off, pretty wide. left alone. 73/3

23.1 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Full and outside off, driven straight to cover. 73/3

22.6 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and outside off, watchfully defended. 73/3

22.5 A Patel to Shafiq, Short and outside off, punched through the covers for a couple. 73/3

22.4 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and straight, this time AS comes forward and blocks patiently. 71/3

22.3 A Patel to Shafiq, Quicker one, outside off, probably the arm ball, once again Asad wants to drop and run to the off side but Azhar calmly sends him back. 71/3

22.2 A Patel to Shafiq, Landed outside off, another push but straight to cover. 71/3

22.1 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and outside off, Shafiq taps it to the off side, wants a single but is sent back. 71/3

21.6 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Fuller length this time, watchfully defended. 71/3

21.5 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Another full toss, played with soft hands through mid-wicket for a run. 71/3

21.4 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Much fuller, outside off, spinning away, Shafiq shoulders arms. 70/3

21.3 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Landed outside off, dabbed straight to backward point. 70/3

21.2 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 70/3

21.1 Ish Sodhi to A Ali, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a single. 70/3

20.6 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and straight, risky sweep shot employed but the bat meets the ball, getting it to square leg. 69/3

20.5 Patel to Shafiq, NOT OUT. The foot barely moved. Full and outside off, Shafiq came forward to defend but the ball spun away a touch, went past the outside edge and Watling whipped off the bails. The keeper was extremely confident and it was referred upstairs but nothing in the replays. 69/3

Is that a stumping? Watling is confident that he has his man. Referred upstairs…

20.4 A Patel to Shafiq, FOUR! Not quite of the middle of the bat but it will do. Full and around middle Shafiq comes down the track and looks to go over the top, but the ball spins in a touch, goes off the inner half, but still eludes mid on. 69/3

20.3 A Patel to A Shafiq, Full on middle, pushed towards mid on. 65/3

20.2 A Patel to Shafiq, Short and outside off, spinning away, punched straight to cover. 65/3

20.1 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and around middle, driven straight back to the bowler. 65/3

19.6 Ish Sodhi to A Ali, A high full toss outside off, Azhar cannot do anything about it, driving the ball straight to short extra cover. 65/3

19.5 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Another single, punched through the covers. Good batting by this pair. They are concentrating on the singles and not just blocking and defending. 65/3

19.4 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Eases this through the covers for a run. 64/3

19.3 Ish Sodhi to A Shafiq, A bit more flight, gets it as a full toss, Shafiq pushes it towards mid on for a quick single. 63/3

19.2 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Outside off, pushed back to the bowler. 62/3

19.1 Ish Sodhi to A Ali, Full and outside off, use of the feet from Azhar as he gets to the pitch of the ball and drives it through the covers for a single. 62/3

18.6 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and outside off, watchfully kept out. 61/3

18.5 A Patel to Ali, Goes back and works it through square leg for a single. 61/3

18.4 A Patel to Ali, Landed outside off, left alone. 60/3

18.3 A Patel to Shafiq, Plays this extremely late, off the pitch, waiting for the ball to turn and almost guides it to the men waiting there. Manages to nudge it past first slip for a single. 60/3

18.2 A Patel to Shafiq, Short and outside off, punched through cover-point for a couple. 59/3

18.1 A Patel to Shafiq, Landed outside off, watchfully pushed back to the bowler. 57/3

17.6 Ish Sodhi to A Ali, Full and outside off, eased past cover for a brace. 57/3

17.5 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Landed outside off, a bit too wide, left alone. 55/3

17.4 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Outside off, pushed towards point for a single. 55/3

17.3 Ish Sodhi to A Shafiq, Full and outside off, pushed towards mid off. 54/3

17.2 Ish Sodhi to A Ali, Too full outside off, Azhar gets underneath it and drives it through the covers for a single. 54/3

17.1 Ish Sodhi to Ali, Tossed up outside off, watchfully defended. 53/3

16.6 A Patel to Shafiq, Down the leg side, Shafiq is drawn forward to flick but misses. 53/3

16.5 A Patel to Shafiq, Full again, blocked back to the bowler. 53/3

16.4 A Patel to A Shafiq, Full and outside off, driven towards mid off. 53/3

16.3 A Patel to Shafiq, Better from Asad. Gets to the pitch of the ball and blocks. 53/3

16.2 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and outside off, watchfully defended. That nearly went through the gap between bat and pad. Shafiq just about managed to get his bat down in time. 53/3

16.1 A Patel to Shafiq, Down the leg side, tucked through square leg for a couple. 53/3

15.6 Ish Sodhi to A Ali, Full and outside off, driven straight to cover. 51/3

15.5 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Full and outside off, driven through mid off for a single. 51/3

15.4 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Landed outside off, let through. 50/3

15.3 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Punched off the back foot by the batsman. 50/3

15.2 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Very full, outside off, Shafiq comes forward but nearly yorks himself. The ball goes back to the bowler. 50/3

15.1 Ish Sodhi to A Shafiq, Full and outside off, driven sweetly but straight to extra cover. 50/3

14.6 A Patel to Ali, Full and around off, well blocked out. 50/3

14.5 A Patel to Ali, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 50/3

14.4 A Patel to Ali, Fuller and with a bit of extra flight, Azhar defends. 50/3

14.3 A Patel to Ali, The batsman defends it from within the crease. 50/3

14.2 A Patel to Shafiq, Short and outside off, punched through the covers for a single. 50 UP FOR PAKISTAN. Suddenly, 176 looks like a mountain to climb. 50/3

14.1 A Patel to Shafiq, Full and around off, watchfully defended. 49/3

13.6 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Pushes this through mid on for a run. 49/3

13.5 Ish Sodhi to Shafiq, Outside off, left alone. 48/3

Asad Shafiq walks in at number 5, replacing Sohail.

13.4 Sodhi to Sohail, OUT! Caught and bowled off a full toss! Well, well, well! Are we onto something here? Another soft dismissal. We saw Hafeez chipping one to cover and now Sohail has done something similar. Only the region is different. It is a ball which takes the pitch out of the equation because it does not land at all. Sohail comes down the track but hits it straight back and that too uppishly! Nice catch taken Ish Sodhi, low to his left,. Bang, bang, bang! 3/8 in the span of 8 balls for the Kiwis! 48/3

13.3 Ish Sodhi to Sohail, FOUR! Positive cricket. No point in just blocking. Sohail comes down the track gets to the pitch of the ball and whacks it over mid on for a boundary. 48/2

13.2 Ish Sodhi to Sohail, Around off, defended from the crease. 44/2

Haris Sohail comes in at number 4, replacing Hafeez.

13.1 Ish Sodhi to Hafeez, OUT! Chipped straight to cover. Oh wow. One brings two and New Zealand have two new batsmen in the middle. Full and outside off, Hafeez comes down the track and looks to hit it through the off side, but cannot keep it down. He ends up hitting it straight to short extra cover where Colin de Grandhomme makes no mistake. Two wickets in the space of 5 balls for 4 runs! 44/2

12.6 A Patel to Hafeez, Ooohhh…. played back from the crease, misreads the line and just about manages to get his bat down in time, to sneak a run through point. 44/1

12.5 A Patel to Ali, Full and outside off, driven through the covers for a single. 43/1

12.4 A Patel to Ali, Full and around off, Azhar brings out the sweep and gets it to fine leg for a couple. FIRST RUNS OFF AJAZ PATEL in this innings. 42/1

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. Ajaz keeps persisting on that tight line and is rewarded. Imam was getting frustrated, being unable to work him away and on this particular ball, he was not sure whether to come forward or go back. It is a decision which needs to be taken in a split second and the southpaw is a second late. Costs him. He tries to play that off the pitch, going back and looking to work it to the leg side but misses. Why? Because the ball lands on the rough outside off and the surface explodes. Massive turn and pings the left-hander right in front of middle. No point reviewing that. So. New Zealand have got a wicket early, conceding just 3 runs this morning… 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!

… 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