New Zealand registered history as they defeated Pakistan by 123 runs for the first time in 49 years to seal the away series in the third and final test on Friday.
Debutant Will Somerville scalped three in what was a starring performance to aid his side to a remarkable victory. The bowler took 3-52 and fellow spinner Ajaz Patel’s 3-42 further fostered the performance as Pakistan fell short after being set on a daunting 280-run target in 79 years.
The home side struggled to 156 in 56.1 overs on a weary pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. This victory was pivotal as it gave the ‘White Ferns’ a 2-1 series win after they had initially won the first match.
The last time New Zealand won an away series against, it was a narrow 1-0 victory in matches played in Pakistan in 1969.
Captain Kane Williamson, whose 139-run innings turned the match and the series in his side’s favour, said: “It was fantastic. Beating Pakistan in their backyard is very tough.
“It feels pretty special, and this will be one that the guys remember for a long time.
“We know the game can ebb and flow very quickly but we came out and played very well today.”
The win was the fifth for New Zealand in the previous six matches as they defeated Pakistan, Bangladesh, the West Indies and England- all at home with the only defeat coming against South Africa.
Somerville, who took 4-75 in the first innings to finish with seven wickets in the match, broke a stubborn 43-run sixth-wicket stand between top scorer Babar Azam (51) and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, who made 28.
Patel ended Azam’s 114-ball resistance before getting the last wicket when he dismissed Hasan Ali for four, sparking celebrations among the New Zealand players.
Pakistan were again let down by sloppy batting and Sarfraz rued missed opportunities.
“We had our chances in all three Tests but we could not grab them,” he said.
“It’s very disappointing to lose a series in conditions which are our own.”
Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when Mohammad Hafeez, in his last innings before he retires from Test cricket, was bowled by fast bowler Tim Southee for eight.