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23-Nov-2018 11:46:00 GMT
Pak v NZ - 2nd Test, Dubai

Confident New Zealand look to sew up series

Dubai: New Zealand go into the game with a 1-0 lead, which they earned by a margin of just four runs in one of the closest matches Test cricket has ever witnessed.

It was a victory out of nowhere; Pakistan were cruising at 130 for 3 chasing 176, and ended up being bowled out for 171.

That wasn't the first time Pakistan missed out on an opportunity to seal the game either. They bowled out New Zealand for 153 in the first innings, but failed to capitalise on the bowling effort to be skittled out for 227 themselves. It allowed New Zealand a slight entry into the game, which blew wide open by the time it ended.

For that, Pakistan will have to get their shot selections right. With wickets falling, they panicked and attacked under pressure, worsening the collapse. If their batsmen can correct that, they've got the bowling to do the damage as they've often done in UAE.

New Zealand will know they have plenty of areas to work on despite their win.

Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel led the bowling efforts with a five-for in the second innings, while Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner too were among the wickets. But the batting has to step up if they are to win consistently in this part of the world.

They did show some improvement in the second innings, though. Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and BJ Watling returned half-centuries from the match; New Zealand will hope for bigger scores from the top order to counter Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah.

Teams from

Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt and wk), Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mir Hamza.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Jeet Raval, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), William Somerville.

Pitch and conditions
Five mostly sunny days, with temperatures in the high 20s. The pitch should be spin friendly but dry conditions are likely to aid reverse-swing too.

Stats and trivia
After snatching a win in the first Test, New Zealand has become only the second team - behind Sri Lanka - to win more than one Test against Pakistan in the UAE.

Match facts
November 24, 2018
Start time 10:00 local (0600 GMT)

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