Williamson, Nicholls help New Zealand build lead



Williamson’s fifty helped New Zealand carve out a narrow lead © AFP

New Zealand ensured Pakistan will have to bat one final time to secure the series but will be pretty disappointed with how things panned out in the first session on the fourth day of the third and final Test in Abu Dhabi. At Lunch, New Zealand were 112 for 4 – with a lead of 38 – with nightwatchman William Somerville and Ross Taylor dismissed in the session.

Kane Williamson stood tall, and was ably supported by Henry Nicholls, but the major disappointment in the session came from Ross Taylor. New Zealand started slow with Somerville frustrating Pakistan for 34 deliveries before he was trapped LBW by Yasir Shah. The wicket meant the legspinner became the quickest to 200 Test wickets – getting there off 33 Tests – and breaking the 82-year-old record held by Clarrie Grimmett. Taylor walked out keen to attack his way out of trouble. The move worked, for a brief while, as New Zealand made rapid progress in wiping up the deficit.

Taylor had raced to 22 off 13 and then pulled a Shaheen Afridi short one to square leg to leave the team at 60 for 4. New Zealand were still 14 away from taking the lead when Henry Nicholls joined Williamson. Nicholls survived a few close calls against Yasir. He was trapped plumb in front but Pakistan decided against reviewing the decision. In the 34th over, he was adjudged LBW with a delivery that spun in sharply but reviewed the decision. Replays showed the ball was missed the leg stump by a distance as he continued to march.

The duo soon took New Zealand past 100 as Williamson completed his half-century to keep them on track. They also stretched their association to unbeaten 52 and will aim at a lead of at least 150 to keep Pakistan sweating.

Brief scores: New Zealand 274 & 112/4 (Kane Williamson 55*; Shaheen Afridi 2-35) lead Pakistan 348 (Azhar Ali 134, Asad Shafiq 104; William Somerville 4-75) by 38 runs.

© Cricbuzz


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