Chasing 176 for victory in the second innings, Pakistan were cruising at 130-3 with Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq going strong at the crease. However, the Kiwis scripted a dramatic turnaround led by left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel to take the honours at Abu Dhabi.
Debutant Patel picked up 5-59 as Pakistan lost their final six wickets for just 41 runs in an extraordinary batting collapse.
Not hiding his frustrations with his team’s batting effort, Sarfraz said, “It is disappointing. The start today wasn’t good, but the way Azhar and Asad played, we should have finished it off.”
“We need to give credit to Ajaz (Patel). The pitch changed and he bowled well. The batsmen should have scored the runs in the first place, but some of the shots played by the tail were quite disappointing. We had opportunities right through the game, first to score big runs in the first innings and then to finish off the game,” he added.
His New Zealand counterpart Kane Williamson, on the other hand, described the game a ‘perfect advertisement’ for Test cricket.
“It was a real fighting effort from the side. The surface wasn’t the easiest – it offered good turn on day one and all the spinners did a fantastic job. The match is a great advertisement for Test cricket. It went on only for three days but went all the way to the wire,” the Kiwi skipper stated after the game.
Williamson had no hesitation in declaring the result as one of the best in his tenure as New Zealand Test skipper.
“Yes, without a doubt. The best in recent memory. In these conditions, Pakistan are a very strong side. To get through them in four days and stay in the match and come out with this result must obviously rank as one of our best wins,” he stated.
The Kiwis now lead the three-match series 1-0 and have a chance to seal a memorable overseas triumph when the two sides meet for the second Test at Dubai on November 24.
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