BJ Watling showed all his trademark determination to get the BLACKCAPS up to a competitive score on day two of the third and deciding Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
The nuggety wicket-keeper batsman became the 14th New Zealander to score 3000 Test runs and was unbeaten on 77 when the visitor's first-innings closed at 274 just before lunch.
Trent Bout snared wickets either side of lunch, but Azhar Ali (62*) and Asad Shafiq steadied the ship for Pakistan who reached stumps at 139-3, trailing by 135.
As it happened...
T&T x2 🔥🔥— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 4, 2018
Bowled Trent Boult - caught Tim Southee goes in the book for a second time as Imam-ul-Haq departs for 9. Great swing by Trent and hands by Tim! Pakistan 17-2, follow live - https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/Y8LfaOym0a
Debutant Will Somerville now showing what he can do with the ball. He’s bowling in tandem with Ajaz Patel trying to break Sohail & Ali’s 50-run partnership. Pak 71-2 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/C5dRUPKknk— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 4, 2018
Auckland Aces spinner Will Somerville is having quite the debut in Abu Dhabi.
After three days he’s already into his second batting innings and has a four-wicket bag under his belt after leading a BLACKCAPS fightback against Pakistan in the deciding Test.
Somerville claimed figures of 4-75 and was responsible for breaking the 201-run fourth wicket stand between centurions Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq on another absorbing day in the UAE.
He was ably supported by fellow spinner Ajaz Patel who picked up a wicket either side of tea as Pakistan lost 7 for 62 and were all-out for 348, a lead of 74 (the same first-innings deficit as game one).
In reply the BLACKCAPS lost both their openers and Somerville cooly walked out to the middle to see out the final few overs with his captain before stumps with the deficit down to 48.
As it happened...
Partnership broken!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 5, 2018
Ali and Shafiq's 201-run stand is broken by Will Somerville who has his first Test wicket! Azhar Ali out for 134.
THEN - Patel has Asad Shafiq out for 104. Pakistan 312-5 at tea on day three #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/Ghzb010uLk
Will Somerville is in EVERYTHING!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 5, 2018
He's run-out Shah after a brilliant throw from de Grandhomme and now clean bowls Hasan Ali for a duck. He has 3-75. Pakistan 348-9, a lead of 74 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/aK0QOhikJb
What a debut this is turning out to be for Will Somerville!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 5, 2018
Pakistan ALL OUT for 348, a lead of 74 ... yes, the same deficit as the first Test... #justsayin https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/BgpYJLUcdz
The captain and the debutant walk off at the end of an absorbing day three. BLACKCAPS 26-2, trail by 48. Earlier Somerville (4-75) helped dismiss Pakistan for 348. Card | https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/95VQeBIJRB— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 5, 2018
The BLACKCAPS are eyeing their second ever away Test series victory over Pakistan after Kane Williamson (139*) and Henry Nicholls (90*) swung the third Test in the visitors favour on day four in Abu Dhabi.
The pair came together on shaky ground at 60-4, but produced a record fifth-wicket partnership against Pakistan of 212* to claim a 198 run lead heading into the final day of the deciding Test.
Williamson was at his stylish best as he kept the scoreboard moving en-route to his 19th Test century and surely one of his very best.
Canterbury batsman Henry Nicholls proved a perfect foil for the captain, his disciplined display netting his third half-century of the series and pushing him within 10 runs of his third Test century.
The BLACKCAPS will begin day five at 272-4 and look to build on their 198 run lead to set up a declaration around lunch and a push for history.
Put the kettle on!
The day also saw Ross Taylor surpass Stephen Fleming as the highest run-scorer across all formats for New Zealand.
As it happened...
Kane Williamson posts his second 50 of the match as the BLACKCAPS lead extends to 36 for the loss of 4 at LUNCH on day four.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 6, 2018
He and Nicholls (20*) have put on 52. Card | https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/VomEOuogqi
Regardless of whether he reaches a 19th test century, @BLACKCAPS captain Kane Williamson's innings has been another triumph in cricketing defiance to bring NZ back into the 3rd #PAKvNZ test in Abu Dhabi. Gutsy from Henry Nicholls too, as the partnership & lead extend beyond 100.— Andrew Alderson (@aldersonnotes) December 6, 2018
A brilliant 19th Test century for Kane Williamson.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 6, 2018
154 balls with 12 boundaries. The NZ captain & Henry Nicholls (51*) have the lead out past 120 with six wickets in hand on day 4 of the deciding Test #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/NYQ4nixMCG
A super second session of batting (87-0) has us on top in the decider!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 6, 2018
Williamson 👉 19th Test ton & Nicholls is playing his part on 54*. Partnership 👉 139, lead of 125 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/ZcDiNwhEt9
Split-screen!?— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 6, 2018
150 partnership up for Williamson (108*) and Nicholls (63*).
Batting the BLACKCAPS into a dominant position at 211-4, a lead of 138 early in the final session of day 4 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/IAQFMGdPBz
Williamson (117*) and Nicholls (77*) pushing on late on day 4.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 6, 2018
The partnership is 177. BLACKCAPS lead is 163 with 16 overs left in the day. Scorecard | https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/NyVhdkyhne
The BLACKCAPS have broken 49 years of history by beating Pakistan in a Test series away from home.
A clinical final day performance in the third and deciding Test in Abu Dhabi helped clinch victory by 123 runs to seal a famous 2-1 series victory.
Off-spinner Will Somerville claimed three second-innings wickets to finish with 7-127 in the match, the fourth best figures by a New Zealander on Test debut.
Ajaz Patel and Tim Southee also snared three wickets apiece as Pakistan were dismissed for 156 just before tea - signalling raucous celebrations.
The series victory was New Zealand's fifth in Asia and just the second time in ten years that Pakistan have been beaten at home.
The day started with Henry Nicholls picking up where he left off from day four, scoring all around the wicket to push past his third Test century and his first outside of New Zealand.
The left-hander finished unbeaten on 126 and combined with Colin de Grandhomme (26 off 19) to add 81 runs in less than nine overs before the BLACKCAPS declared less than an hour into the first session, leaving Pakistan 280 to win from 79 overs.
Tim Southee got things going with the ball, clean bowling Mohammad Hafeez in his final match with an absolute peach which hit the top of off stump.
De Grandhomme turned dangerman Azhar Ali inside-out and took the outside edge through to keeper BJ Watling.
The spinners then rammed home the advantage by claiming three more wickets between them before lunch as the hosts limped to the break at 55-5.
Off-spinner Will Somerville continued his staring role on debut, as he broke the Pakistan resistance in the second session by clean bowling Sarfraz Ahmed after 15 anxious overs without a wicket.
Tim Southee made the next breakthrough after puhing Asif Balal back before finding his edge through to Watling. Southee would use his bouncer to good affect the next over as Yasir Shah spooned one to cover.
Ajaz Patel finished proceedings as Hasan Ali skied one and was fittingly caught by Player of the Match Kane Williamson.
As it happened...
“We’re in a really good position because of the way Kane and Henry have batted. We’ll see how it plays out today, but the bowlers are excited & ready to go when we’re needed.” - Ajaz Patel ahead of day 5 #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/43e7Q5wglP— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Well, day 5 has started with a wicket. Williamson out LBW first ball of the day to Hasan Ali for 139.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Colin deGrandhomme promoted to 6 🔥 The lead is past 200 💫
Follow live - https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ
Some unselfish cricket from de Grandhomme (26 off 19) & BJ Watling who sacrifice themselves to build the lead to 260. Nicholls unbeaten on 122. https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/Q3Kar6W6xZ— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Tim Southee with the 1st wicket ✨— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
An absolute 🍑 of a delivery, hitting the top of off stump!
Hafeez out for 8 in his last Test - a standing ovation as he walks off 👏
Card | https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/NXwKx8YGz4
Will Somerville is on a HAT-TRICK in Abu Dhabi!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Turn and bounce proving too much for Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq. Two good grabs from Taylor & Watling! Pakistan 43-4, with 10 minutes to lunch. Live - https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/RXQusOKHHL
Near perfect first session for the BLACKCAPS on day 5.— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
We've captured 5 Pakistan wickets in the 20 overs before lunch after declaring at 353-7 setting a target of 280 to win.
Scorecard | https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/xnVw4RQhzl
Will Somerville breaks through 15 overs after lunch!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Gets one to rip back and bowl Safraz for 28. Pakistan 98-6, an hour into the second session on day five. Follow live - https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/ExtQopU80b
BREAKTHROUGH!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Number 7 down as Tim Southee picks up the outside edge of Bilal through to Watling after 48 balls of defiance. Pakistan 131-7 with 29 overs remaining on the final day. COME ON BOYS! #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/MwB8KMtByc
Two in two overs for Tim Southee 🔥🔥— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Some well directed short balls proving too much for Shah who spoons one to cover. Pakistan 137-8 late in the 2nd session of day 5. Follow live - https://t.co/qUiClQvlll #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/EfLuRRjjYo
Ajaz Patel with the 9th wicket (Azam 51) and we're ONE wicket away from an historic first away Test series victory over Pakistan since 1969!!— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018
Brilliant catch by Southee running back & taking it over his shoulder.#PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/JkKtrdZz3A
HISTORY 🔥 pic.twitter.com/xNL0lec06f— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 7, 2018