Yasir Shah sliced through the New Zealand innings like a hot knife through butter, finishing with the third-best figures in Pakistan’s history. New Zealand could add just 27 runs to their lunch tally of 63 for 4 with Yasir responsible for four more wickets as he finished with 8 for 41, giving Pakistan a monumental 328-run lead, and making Pakistan’s first-innings declaration look infinitely more prescient than it did yesterday.
Kane Williamson played a lone, forlorn hand at the other end, seemingly batting on a different pitch, but could do little about the carnage unfolding around him as his side lost 10 wickets for 40 runs to be bowled out for 90. Williamson would be back on the pitch shortly after in the second innings, as New Zealand attempted to make a better fist of it, taking
tea at 39 for 1.
With BJ Watling and Williamson the last specialist batsmen at the crease as the session commenced, how that partnership went would be pivotal to New Zealand’s hopes this Test. Four balls after lunch, Watling was run out after a devastating mix-up with his captain, and even luck went Yasir’s way as the ball he fumbled with went on to hit the stumps anyway.
After Hasan Ali took care of Colin de Grandhomme in identical fashion to his first innings lbw in Abu Dhabi, Yasir was in complete charge of the tail. Williamson tried to get the score to three-figures whenever he had the strike, but with no other player able to cope with Yasir’s heat, he was destined to remain a helpless onlooker as Pakistan took a monstrous lead, and instructed New Zealand to follow-on.
In the morning, Yasir had lain waste to a dogged opening partnership with a late flurry of wickets that tore through New Zealand’s middle order. The 50-run partnership between Raval and Latham had ended after Raval clumsily dragged the ball back onto the stumps off Yasir, but the real magic was yet to happen. In the penultimate over before lunch, the legspinner ripped through Latham, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls to leave New Zealand tottering at 63 for 4 at the break. As has been the case on each morning of this match so far, the runs were hard to come by, with only 39 scored in 20 overs.
The start on Monday was delayed by a passing shower, and Pakistan began quite well thereafter, with only one run conceded in the first six overs. Even so, New Zealand looked up for the grind, and neither Mohammad Abbas nor Hasan Ali carried the penetrative threat to make a telling contribution before lunch. That honour belonged to Yasir, who in an over of unplayable sorcery, turned the game on its head, even changing its tempo altogether.
He drew Latham into a prod that Imam-ul-Haq scooped up at short leg. That opened up the opportunity to frighten the new batsmen. Taylor’s second delivery was a ball that evoked memories of Shane Warne to Mike Gatting. It pitched around middle and leg before spinning past the dead bat Taylor was offering to it to clatter into off stump. Nicholls’ second delivery, too, was the stuff of nightmares, screaming through the gap between bat and pad to smash into middle stump.
Score: Pakistan (1st Inn.) – 418/5 (dec.) (Sohail 147, De Grandhomme 2/44); New Zealand (1st Inn.) – 90 (Raval 31, Yasir 8-41); (2nd Inn.) – 101/2 (Latham 39*, Yasir 2/55); New Zealand trail Pakistan by 227 runs