Pakistan will be very disappointed after failing to seize the advantage. They dismissed New Zealand for a paltry total last evening but their batsmen failed to gather a big lead. Plenty of starts for their batters but none carried on to make it count. Still, a lead of 74 can be considered handy on this surface which is offering something to every type of bowler. Let's see how New Zealand respond with the bat second time around.
Excellent bowling show by the Kiwis! They are behind in the game by 74 runs but it could have been even more had their bowlers not stepped up. Trent Boult, as expected, was the pick of the bowlers and finished with a 4-wicket haul. He was nicely assisted by other bowling partners and Ajaz Patel, in particular, impressed with his accuracy on his debut.
Mohammad Abbas is the number 11 batsman.
The final session of the day is about to begin. Babar Azam will continue with Hasan Ali. Trent Boult will take the new ball now from the other end.
... Second Day, Third Session ...
A satisfactory session for the Kiwis! They managed to snaffle four wickets in the afternoon and have reached Pakistan's tail. Babar Azam is holding one end strongly but is running out of partners. Once his partnership with Asad Shafiq was broken, there was a period where wickets went down in a flurry. The touring team sniffed in a chance but failed to close the innings. The lead has now reached 72 runs and given the way this pitch is turning, anything over 100 will be alarming. Do join us in a short while for the last session.
Second new ball is now available. New Zealand have taken it straightaway. Colin de Grandhomme to make first use of it.
Hasan Ali walks in next. He can surely tonk the cricket ball. Needs to hang around though with Babar.
Ish Sodhi is into the attack.
Neil Wagner is back on.
The over is called with a ball remaining. The umpire realizes it late or maybe was informed by the third umpire/scorers. Ajaz is called back to bowl the last ball.
Yasir Shah walks in ahead of Hasan Ali. Hmm...
Stumping appeal has been referred upstairs. Is Bilal gone?
Trent Boult is leaving the ground. Maybe for some comfort break. This could be the end of his spell as well. Meanwhile, Tim Southee is his replacement on the field currently.
Silly point in place now.
Drinks break. Superb first hour post Lunch for the Kiwis. They have managed to pick two wickets so far and with Pakistan's lead under 50, this Test match is hanging in the balance. For the home team, Babar Azam will have to play well with the tail to build on a big lead while for the touring side, their aim will be to bundle out the Pakistan innings ASAP. An interesting next hour coming up.
Bilal Asif's turn to bat now.
Sarfraz Khan is the number 7 batsman.
Change in bowling. Trent Boult is brought back into the attack.
Neil Wagner to continue from this end...
We are back for the afternoon session. The players are on the field as well. Just 9 runs behind are the virtual hosts. The pitch has offered some assistance to the spin bowlers, in particular and the Kiwis will be hoping for some quick wickets. They are beginning with Ajaz Patel. A slip and short leg in place.
... Second Day, Second Session ...
A decent session for both sides. In 29 overs, 85 runs have been scored for the loss of 2 wickets. Sodhi and Boult dismissed the two overnight batsmen Sohail and Azhar, but from that point on, Shafiq and Azam have taken things in their control with a fifty-stand, not allowing New Zealand to capitalize further. Things are very much in the balance right now as Pakistan still trail by 9 runs. Will be interesting to see if Williamson goes for a complete spin attack, from both ends, to apply pressure on the Pakistan batsmen in the next session. Join us on the other side of the break for all the action.
A fly slip in place.
Ajaz Patel is back to roll his arm over.
Neil Wagner now comes on to bowl.
Babar Azam is the next man in to bat.
Drinks break. Pakistan had started the day well with Azhar and Sohail carrying on from Day 1, but two wickets in successive overs from Sodhi and Boult, got Sohail and Azhar respectively. Chance for the visitors to pick a wicket or two more and eat into the Pakistan tail.
Asad Shafiq out in the middle. Two of Pakistan's most experienced players batting together now.
Time for some wrist spin. Ish Sodhi will be bowling for the first time in this Test.
The review has been taken. It's for an lbw decision against Azhar Ali. Height could be an issue though. Let's see...
Trent Boult is brought into the attack.
Ajaz Patel to bowl from the other end.
The New Zealand players are in a huddle by the boundary line. Kane Williamson with some last-minute words of motivation for his teammates. It's an important session for them. They now spread out across the field. Haris Sohail and Azhar Ali stride out to the middle as well, the latter will take strike. Colin de Grandhomme will start off with the ball. Two slips and a gully in position for him. Here we go...
Pakistan lost both their openers as well towards the end of day's play, but since then, Haris Sohail and Azhar Ali have managed to steady things up. Day 1 was supposed to be a batting paradise, which it still could continue to be in the remaining days, but given how it's panned out, there's no way of telling how today will unfold. Should be exciting either way.
Hello and welcome for Day 2 of what is turning out to be an interesting Test match, for the neutrals at least. Pakistan have their noses somewhat ahead at the moment, but only barely. The opening day saw New Zealand crumble to the lowest-ever first innings total posted on the board in Abu Dhabi, with Kane Williamson the only one rising above the challenge to a good extent. It was a day where 12 wickets fell, and you could say most of them were just gifted to the opposition.
... Second Day, First Session ...
The reason for so many wickets falling today is not because the surface has any demons in it, or that it's unpredictable in nature, but for the simple fact that there's been a lack of application from the batsmen. The Kiwis suffered as a result, and so did the Pakistan openers. Will more of the same be repeated on Day 2? We will see. Join us for all the action at 1000 local (0600 GMT). See you then!
A riveting day of Test cricket. What was supposed to be a flat deck has produced 12 wickets on Day 1. Through all this, it's been a good day overall for Pakistan. They first bowled out New Zealand for 153, which is the lowest 1st innings total at this venue. Every Pakistan bowler chipped in with the wickets barring Hafeez. Williamson was the only one who provided any kind of resistance for the Black Caps with a solid 63, but he too, like the others, threw his wicket away. After that, the hosts came out to bat in the last session and lost both their openers. Sohail and Azhar have shored things after that, ensuring no further damage was done.
Last over of the day...
5 more overs left in the day's play. Ajaz Patel to continue...
Neil Wagner is introduced into the attack. Watch out for his pace and length. He can be quite intimidating at times.
Debutant in action. Ajaz Patel has the ball in his hand.
Drinks break. Meanwhile, Haris Sohail is the number 4 batsman.
Azhar Ali is the number 3 batsman.
Colin de Grandhomme to share the red cherry from the other end.