Debutant spinner Ajaz Patel claimed five wickets in the second innings as New Zealand beat Pakistan by four runs on a dramatic fourth day of the opening Test in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Pakistan resumed the day on 37 for no loss, needing 139 runs for a victory to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, but suffered a lower-order collapse, losing their last seven wickets for 41 runs to eventually get dismissed for 171 in 58.4 overs.
Azhar Ali (65), who had earlier stitched together an 82-run partnership with Asad Shafiq (45) to keep Pakistan’s hopes of a win alive, was the last batsman to fall when he was trapped in front of the wicket by left-armer Patel, who finished with 5-59.
A disappointed Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said, "Obviously it is disappointing. The start today wasn't good, but the way Azhar and Asad played, we should have finished it off. The collapse after that was very disappointing for the team. We obviously need to give credit to Ajaz here."
While Sarfraz has a lot of talking to do, he will be spending more time after the match hearing and reading the rant of the Pakistani fans and cricket experts on social media for sure.
Here are best reactions on Pakistan's four-run loss in first Test:
Test match to remember
A test match to remember for a long time. An outstanding effort from New Zealand to win this after being out of the game for so long. Their never-say- die attitude is so wonderful and Test Cricket is well and truly alive #PakvNZ
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) November 19, 2018
Black Caps getting the deserved praise
What a fantastic test match to be calling @jecfranklin @SteelyDan66 Both @BLACKCAPS & @TheRealPCB played in great spirit. Congrats to NZ and what a series we have in store. #PakvNZ #testcricket #aliveandwell #victory — Simon Doull (@Sdoull) November 19, 2018
Is PCB management listening?
If Imran Khan was captain of this team, he would have dropped couple of players for playing reckless shots in an intense chase. Absolute shocker by Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. Even worse than Sydney 2010. #PakvNZ — Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) November 19, 2018
Taylor, himself, was at the losing end of a close finish some days back
Numbers that matter
16 Pak wkts (incl run out) in the Abu Dhabi Test went to players born outside NZealand. 7 - Ajaz Patel (born Mumbai, Ind) 3 - Neil Wagner (Pretoria, SAf) 3 - Ish Sodhi (Ludhiana, Ind) 2 - Colin de Grandhomme (Harare, Zim) 1 - run out (Sodhi/Patel)#PakvNZ 4 - Trent Boult (in NZ) — Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) November 19, 2018
You have to agree with this
An interesting analogy drawn here
Pakistan's chases are like the govt against TLP... har dafa hope against hope karte hain... har dafa wohi hota hai... agli dafa phir umeed lagate hain. You could blame this team, the captain (or bizarrely as some do, the only guy who batted well), lekin qusoor apka aur humara hai — Hassan Cheema (@mediagag) November 19, 2018
The experts exchanging thoughts
To put it in perspective Harsha, NZ too collapsed from 220-4 to 249 all out the previous day! It was a topsy turvy Test, full of drama and thrilling climax https://t.co/HEnjwViEfn — Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) November 19, 2018
The second Test will be played in Dubai from 24-28 November before the teams return to Abu Dhabi for the final Test from 3-7 December.
With inputs from Reuters
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The Black Caps called off their first Pakistan series in 18 years with Wellington's backing on Friday just before the first one-day international was due to start in Rawalpindi.
International cricket in Pakistan was suspended in the aftermath of terror attacks on the Sri Lankan side in 2009, but has been slowly revived over the past two years.
New Zealand, who last toured Pakistan in 2003 for five one-day internationals, will play three ODIs in Rawalpindi and five T20Is in Lahore.