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Twitter Reactions: Pakistan on top as 12 wickets fall in Abu Dhabi

With the pitch breaking up fast, the second day will be crucial in deciding the fate of the game.

Mohammad Abbas
Mohammad Abbas. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

After a thoroughly competitive ODI and T20I series, Pakistan and New Zealand locked horns in the first of the three-match Test rubber in Abu Dhabi today. The visitors were playing the format after a long time and the rustiness in their approach was quite evident. Having said that, it is still anybody’s game as the hosts lost a couple of wickets in the response to the opposition meagre first innings total.

After skittling New Zealand out for 153 runs, Pakistan had a great chance to stamp their authority in the final session by reducing the deficit by playing cautiously. But Colin de Grandhomme who was given the new ball to everyone’s surprise nipped out the opener Imam-ul-Haq for just six runs. Trent Boult, from the other end, pulled back his length to eke out a pull shot off Mohammad Hafeez‘s bat.

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The veteran timed the ball perfectly but could only hit it straight into Kane Williamson’s throat who was standing at the mid-wicket. At 27/2 in the ninth over, one felt that the Kiwis would make a comeback into the contest. But the duo of Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail made sure there were no more hiccups as Pakistan ended the day on 59/2 after 27 overs.

Williamson stands tall amidst the collapse

Earlier in the day, New Zealand won a very good toss and opted to bat first. Mohammad Abbas continued his superb form with the ball as he was the first to draw the first blood by removing the opener Jeet Raval. However, Kane Williamson’s arrival to the crease brought some sense to the proceedings. But the skipper never got the proper support from the other end.

Tom Latham and Ross Taylor were sent back cheaply by Yasir Shah as the leggie managed to exert life out of the otherwise dead surface. The turn was surprising to see on the first day itself as the pitch didn’t break soon during the recent Australia series. But Henry Nicholls decided to spend some time in the middle and the partnership flourished.

The 72-run stand was starting to frustrate Sarfraz Ahmed. However, the nelson scalped Nicholls as he played an ugly drive away from the body to become the second victim of Abbas’ accurate bowling. This wicket triggered a sensational collapse as Williamson was also strangled down the legside off a bouncer by Hasan Ali. Though he played well and looked good for his 63-run knock.

The rest of the batters didn’t really put a great show and New Zealand were bundled out for 153 runs in the 67th over. They will have to bowl really well in order to make a comeback in the game. They’ve started well and should keep striking at the regular intervals to not let Pakistan run away with the game in the first innings itself.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the day:

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