Yasir and Bilal put Pakistan in control despite Williamson resistance

Pakistan made a fine start in its bid to win the deciding third Test against New Zealand, with Yasir Shah again a man in form.

Yasir Shah celebrates with his Pakistan teammates.   -  Getty Images

Yasir Shah and Bilal Asif made New Zealand toil either side of Kane Williamson's resistance as Pakistan had the better of day one of the crucial third Test in Abu Dhabi.


Leg-spinner Yasir finished with match figures of 14-184, the second best ever by a Pakistan bowler, in the series-levelling innings-and-16-runs battering in Dubai and was tormentor-in-chief in Monday's morning session.

Yasir (3-62) took three wickets as New Zealand stumbled its way to 73-4 by lunch, meaning he needs just two more to become the fastest bowler to 200 Test wickets, before Williamson played a captain's innings with a measured 89 as part of a century stand with BJ Watling (42 not out) lasting until after tea.

But Hasan Ali (1-46) claimed the crucial scalp of Williamson and Bilal (2-57) did further damage to New Zealand's order as the designated tourists closed on a precarious 229-7.

Kane Williamson top scored for New Zealand with 89. - AFP   -  AFP

Pakistan handed a debut to left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi, who claimed a first Test wicket in his third over as Tom Latham (4) was trapped in front and the host successfully overturned the not-out decision on review.

Jeet Raval (45) and Williamson added 46 before Yasir struck twice in as many balls — pinning the opener in front and then getting one to scoot low through Ross Taylor's defences.

Henry Nicholls (1) perished soon after, playing on from an attempted sweep, but Watling was given a life on nine when short-leg put down a sharp chance from Bilal's bowling.

A textbook display of defence followed in the afternoon session, with Williamson and Watling gritting their way through the 32 overs, adding 72 runs as the scoring rate dropped and New Zealand stabilised.

Watling made just 14 of those from 98 balls, but his stoic concentration allowed Williamson to start picking his spots and build a half-century.

Kane Williamson's wagon wheel.


But Pakistan made the crucial breakthrough after tea when Williamson whipped a fuller Hasan delivery to a joyous Asad Shafiq at short midwicket.

Bilal then struck twice in quick succession, Colin de Grandhomme – having just avoided a stumping the previous ball – clipped one to the sharp hands of Asad at leg slip, before Tim Southee (2) top-edged to short-fine leg.

New Zealand debutant William Somerville (12no) overturned a leg-before decision to deny Bilal a third wicket, and he stayed firm with Watling until the close.

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