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Kiwis crumble against Pakistan's precision attack in Abu Dhabi

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Kiwis crumble against Pakistan's precision attack in Abu Dhabi
FILE PHOTO - New Zealand vs England - Second Test - Hagley Oval, Christchurch, New Zealand - March 31, 2018 - New Zealand's Kane Williamson watches as he is caught by England's Jonny Bairstow. REUTERS/Paul Childs   -   Copyright  Paul Childs(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Pakistan’s bowlers showed controlled aggression and intelligence to skittle out New Zealand for 153 on day one of the first test in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The Kiwis struggled to score on a dry pitch after winning the toss and lost their last seven wickets for just 42 runs in the afternoon session, with skipper Kane Williamson’s 27th test half century reduced to a footnote.

New Zealand removed openers Imam-ul-Haq (6) and Mohammad Hafeez (20) before the close, but the day belonged to Pakistan who will resume on 59 for two, trailing by 94 runs with eight wickets in hand.

New Zealand’s openers Jeet Raval and Tom Latham survived the opening 10 overs before in-form pace bowler Mohammad Abbas had Raval edging to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed for seven runs.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, introduced in the 15th over, struck right away as Latham chipped one to Hafeez at mid-wicket.

Latham was soon joined in the dressing room by Ross Taylor after another sharp turning delivery from Shah had him caught behind for two.

Williamson and Henry Nicholls stitched together a cautious 42-run stand to ensure there were no more hiccups as they reached lunch at 81 for three.

Abbas, who picked up 17 wickets in two tests against Australia last month, removed Nicholls, tempting him to edge a half-volley to the wicketkeeper.

It only got worse for the visitors as Hasan Ali came to the party with the old ball, claiming two wickets in two balls.

While Williamson gloved a short delivery down the leg side, Colin de Grandhomme was trapped leg before by some scorching reverse-swing.

Williamson’s 112-ball 63 included five boundaries and he added 72 for the fourth wicket with Nicholls, who made 28.

Both Ish Sodhi and BJ Watling fell to left-arm spinner Haris Sohail before Shah wrapped up the innings with the wicket of Ajaz Patel, who made six on debut.

Shah finished as the pick of the bowlers with 3-54, while Abbas, Ali and Sohail finished with two wickets apiece.

New Zealand returned to the field and their new ball pairing of De Grandhomme and Trent Boult snatched a wicket each to remove Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq and Hafeez.

Yet Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail ground out the final hour to take them to stumps.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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