Abu Dhabi: Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq hit centuries to leave Pakistan in command of the third and final Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi despite a batting collapse that curtailed their first-innings lead. Azhar hit an attractive 134 for his 15th Test hundred while Shafiq scored 104, but debutant New Zealand off-spinner Will Somerville took four wickets to restrict Pakistan to 348 all out.
Pakistan appeared set to build a huge lead before collapsing from 286-3 to lose their final seven wickets for the addition of just 62 runs. The 34-year-old Somerville finished with 4-75 while left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel took 2-100 and pace spearhead Trent Boult chipped in with 2-66.
That gave Pakistan a 74-run lead — the same advantage they held in the first Test at the same venue before losing by four runs.
New Zealand were then reduced to 26-2 at stumps with Kane Williamson unbeaten on 14 and nightwatchman Somerville on one not out to leave them trailing by 48 runs with eight wickets intact.
Paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped Jeet Raval for nought while leg-spinner Yasir Shah had Tom Latham caught for ten, his 199th wicket in Tests. Yasir needs just one more wicket to become the fastest to 200 wickets, in his 33rd Test, a record currently held by Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who reached the milestone in 36 Tests, 82 years ago. Shafiq said Pakistan must limit New Zealand in their second innings after his side failed to chase down 176 in the first Test.