He faced more resistance, but Yasir Shah eventually finished what he started, sending the test series between New Zealand and Pakistan to a decider.

Shah claimed the best bowling figures ever recorded against New Zealand, finishing with match figures of 14-184, as Pakistan took victory by an innings and 16 runs to level the three-test series at 1-1.

New Zealand were always unlikely to repeat their stunning victory in the first test – having only claimed back-to-back away test victories on three occasions, against the might of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.

However, their defeat raised serious questions about their abilities to win Monday's deciding test in Abu Dhabi, even despite a brief second innings fightback.


Black Caps captain Kane Williamson took some heart from their second innings effort of 312, but knows that his side need to be better at facing spin if they are to have a hope of a series victory.

"To get 300 batting last was a good sign, but the damage was done," Williamson analysed.

"They played the perfect game, they batted for two days on that surface and got it to the stage where it was going to offer a bit of assistance to the spinners and they took full advantage of that.

"There were some great improvements with the bat in the second innings, but obviously that session there where Yasir bowled extremely well put us under pressure. We do need to be better in that area.

"There were some good signs, if we can put all that together and take it all into the decider."

Yasir Shah celebrates. Photo / Photosport
Yasir Shah celebrates. Photo / Photosport

Resuming on day four at 131-2, following their disastrous collapse for 90 in their first turn at bat, the Black Caps showed some fight, led by Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls.

Taylor made 82 in a punchy innings, playing Shah aggressively and riding his luck early, before settling in as he progressed. Considering the fate that had befallen him and his teammates in the first innings, it was the right approach, and for all of Shah's prowess, he did offer some loose deliveries which the Black Caps veteran cashed in on.

Taylor combined for an 80-run partnership with Tom Latham, who brought up a well-earned 50 before falling in controversial circumstances. A referral for caught behind showed a slight spike through to the wicketkeeper, but with some doubt cast over whether it came from ball hitting bat, or bat hitting pad.


The benefit of the doubt went to Pakistan, and thoughts of another collapse emerged when Nicholls was then given out lbw second ball. However, this time the review went New Zealand's way, and Nicholls survived, combining for handy partnerships with Taylor and BJ Watling, and bringing up his second half century of the test series.

The combination of Nicholls and Watling had played a massive part in giving New Zealand a hope to win the first test, and they tried to repeat the performance, adding 57 for the fifth wicket — the fourth 50 partnership of the innings — as Pakistan grew frustrated.

However, Shah trapped Watling lbw for 27 after lunch, and once again, New Zealand's tail order was nowhere to be found as Shah spun his way into the history books.

Pakistan celebrate another wicket against the Black Caps. Photo / AP
Pakistan celebrate another wicket against the Black Caps. Photo / AP

Having already claimed the best innings figures ever recorded against New Zealand with his 8-41, Shah added 6-143 to his match tally, moving past the previous match best of 13-55, set by Courtney Walsh in 1995.

He had support from Hasan Ali, who ended Colin de Grandhomme's innings – and possibly his run in the test team. A brief cameo of 14 off 13 balls ended with another horrendous dismissal, hoiking across the line and being bowled, while Ish Sodhi's attempted lap sweep wasn't much better, having his stumps disturbed by Shah.

At the other end, Nicholls was chipping away in a promising innings, but Ali got a delivery to zag back in between bat and pad, and Nicholls departed for 77.

Shah then came back to finish off the tail, and make history.