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Pakistan seal mammoth win

Ish Sodhi’s valiant stand for New Zealand ended at 63 as Pakistan completed an emphatic 248-run victory in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

Sodhi had managed to survive the Pakistan onslaught on day four, but was the final New Zealand wicket to fall early on day five as they finished on 231 chasing 480.

It gives Pakistan a 1-0 series lead with two matches to play in the United Arab Emirates, following on from their 2-0 whitewash of Australia.

New Zealand began day five on 174 for eight, needing to survive for their third-longest fourth innings to force a draw.

Pakistan players celebrate beating New Zealand by 248 runs on day five of the first Test to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series

But there was little respite for the visitors as Yasir Shah picked up the wicket of Mark Craig in only the second over of the day.

Craig’s innings of 28 had comprised three fours, but he was bowled by Shah for his third wicket of the innings, though Sodhi’s vigil continued as he was joined by Trent Boult.

The pair put on 54 together for the last wicket, with Boult also getting in on the act with three boundaries in his 19 off 43 balls.

Sodhi exacted a measure of revenge on Shah by smashing him for six over midwicket to add to his seven fours but that was his last shot to the ropes.

Imran Khan ended Sodhi’s resistence at 63 (off 102 balls) by trapping him lbw, with the New Zealander’s use of the Decision Review System struck down to give Pakistan victory.

Following the match, the International Cricket Council confirmed in a statement that Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez had been reported with a “suspected illegal bowling action”. 

Hafeez took a wicket in each innings of Pakistan’s win, while he scored 96 and 101 respectively with the bat.

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