Pakistan yet again showed how erratic they can be by slumping to a shocking loss against New Zealand in the first Test match of the three-match series in Abu Dhabi, losing the game by a narrow four-run margin despite being in firm control during some of the crucial points of the game. This led to a sarcastic reaction from former England captain Michael Vaughan, who took to Twitter to call the Pakistan cricket team “unpredictable”. He wrote, “Don’t you just love Pakistan Cricket .. so so unpredictable .. 130 for 3 needing a further 45 to win the Test & lose by 4 .. Test cricket is alive & kicking .. We have witnessed some great games over the last few months .. Pitches are the key.”
Don’t you just love Pakistan Cricket .. so so unpredictable .. 130 for 3 needing a further 45 to win the Test & lose by 4 .. Test cricket is alive & kicking .. We have witnessed some great games over the last few months .. Pitches are the key ..[add48]
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 19, 2018
Chasing a 176-run target, Pakistan looked to be on track for a victory at Lunch, but yet another unexpected batting collapse ensured they were all out for 171 as New Zealand’s Ajaz Patel bowled exceedingly well to take a five-wicket haul.
It is the fifth smallest win in terms of runs in Test cricket’s history and gives New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Azhar Ali fought a lone battle for Pakistan with 65 and was the last man out when he was trapped leg-before wicket by Patel. He reviewed Bruce Oxenford’s decision but the television replays upheld the decision.
Resuming on 37 without loss, Pakistan began the day as favourites to chase down the 176 they needed for victory although New Zealand will have taken some hope from Pakistan’s failure at the same ground last year to chase 136 against Sri Lanka.
Kiwi spinners Patel and Ish Sodhi opened the bowling and immediately caused problems as Pakistan lost three wickets in the first six overs.
(With AFP inputs)