Williamson leads Black Caps to rare away series win

By Sports Desk December 07, 2018

New Zealand completed an away series win over Pakistan for the first time since 1969 after a dominant 123-run success in the third Test in Abu Dhabi.

The Black Caps have not always fared well in Asia, their last series win on the continent coming in 2008, but they took control of the decisive final match on day four and declared on 353-7 the next morning as Henry Nicholls' unbeaten 126 helped set Pakistan a target of 280.

A successful chase never looked remotely likely and New Zealand soon set about ensuring Pakistan would not be able to bat out the day.

Tim Southee (3-42) and William Somerville (3-52) were in rampant form as it quickly became clear that captain Kane Williamson's call to go after victory would pay off, with only Babar Azam (51) offering any real resistance as he reached 1000 Test runs.

Pakistan were bowled for 156 and have little time to reflect on a disappointing series defeat, with a tour of South Africa beginning this month.

Hasan Ali had struck with the first ball of the day, trapping Williamson (139) lbw to end his partnership with Nicholls at 212, yet the morning then threatened to get away from Pakistan.

Nicholls combined with Colin de Grandhomme (26) for 62, soon reaching his century as the pair plundered regular boundaries and propelled New Zealand past 300.

Yasir Shah (4-129) - a record-breaker in this match as he became the fastest bowler to 200 Test wickets - intervened and took out De Grandhomme and BJ Watling (0) from consecutive balls, but Southee (15 not out) came in to stave off the hat-trick.

He then added another six before Williamson, whose slowing run rate on Thursday appeared to set up a draw, went for broke and declared with a lead of 279.

Pakistan were soon struggling with the bat and Southee wiped out Mohammad Hafeez's off stump to cut short the batsman's final Test innings at eight runs, before De Grandhomme tempted an edge from Azhar Ali (5).

Somerville was next to come to the fore in a destructive two-wicket maiden over. Ross Taylor clung on from Haris Sohail (9) and then Asad Shafiq (0) gloved behind next ball, awarded following a review.

A further video replay saved Babar from becoming Somerville's next victim, but the pressure continued to build before lunch and Imam-ul-Haq (22) fell to Ajaz Patel.

There was some improvement from Pakistan in the second session until Sommerville crashed through Sarfraz Ahmed (28) and, although Babar held firm, Yasir (4) tamely chipped Southee to cover.

Babar reached 50 and was then dropped by Taylor, but Southee made no mistake as he plucked a dropping ball out of the air to put New Zealand on the brink, before Hasan (4) picked out Williamson for the final dismissal.

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