New Zealand pacer Trent Boult inspires series-levelling victory against Pakistan
Paceman Trent Boult took four wickets as New Zealand beat Pakistan by an innings and 80 runs to win the third and final Test within four days and level the series 1-1.cricket Updated: Dec 01, 2014 04:31 IST
Paceman Trent Boult took four wickets as New Zealand beat Pakistan by an innings and 80 runs to win the third and final Test within four days and level the series 1-1.
Pakistan, who won the first match of the series in Abu Dhabi by 248 runs, were all out for 259 in their second innings in Sharjah on Sunday.
Asad Shafiq staged a lone battle for Pakistan and completed his fifth Test hundred with an aggressive 137 off 148 balls but ran out of partners in the end.
"Really tough circumstances to play the Test match here," New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said at the presentation ceremony, referring to the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes on Thursday.
"Our thoughts were elsewhere for majority of the game. When we look back at this result in due course we will obviously be very proud."
On a docile pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium where New Zealand posted their highest total in tests, the 25-year-old Boult extracted enough movement and pace to rattle the Pakistan top order.
Boult dismissed Shan Masood (4) in the third over, bowled Azhar Ali (6) with the last delivery of his fourth and then returned to dismiss Younus Khan for a duck leg before with the first ball of his next over.
Off-spinner Mark Craig, who took seven wickets in the first innings, continued to punish Pakistan by dismissing opener Mohammad Hafeez and captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
With Pakistan reeling on 63-5, Sarfraz Ahmed (37) decided to take the attack to the New Zealand bowlers and added a quickfire 73 for the sixth wicket with Shafiq.
But leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who saw Sarfraz dropped twice off his bowling in one over, took out the wicketkeeper-batsman and Yasir Shah (10) to take New Zealand closer to victory.
Vettori delays call
New Zealand's veteran spinner Daniel Vettori said on Sunday he didn't feel it appropriate to call time on his Test career after the tragic death of Phillip Hughes who was like a teammate. The 35-year-old staged a comeback in Test cricket after an injury gap of 28 months.
Vettori said he was unlikely to add to his record 112 Test caps for New Zealand - he also played one Test for ICC World XI in 2005 - but did not officially announce it.
Brief scores: Pakistan 351 and 259 (Shafiq 137; Boult 4-38) vs New Zealand 690 (B McCullum 202, K Williamson 192; Rahat Ali 4-89)