ABU DHABI, December 7: Debutant Will Somerville grabbed three key wickets to guide New Zealand to their first away series win over Pakistan in 49 years with a crushing 123-run win in the third and final Test on Friday.
The off-spinner took 3-52 and was aided by fellow spinner Ajaz Patel’s 3-42 as Pakistan came up well short after being set a daunting 280-run target in 79 overs.
They crumbled to 156 in 56.1 overs on a weary pitch at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The victory gave New Zealand a 2-1 series win after they had taken the first Test by a narrow four-run margin at the same venue. Pakistan bounced back with an innings and 16-run win in the second Test in Dubai.
New Zealand’s last away series win against Pakistan was a 1-0 victory in matches played in Pakistan in 1969.
It was the Black Caps’ fifth Test series win in their last six played since November 2016. They beat Pakistan, Bangladesh, the West Indies and England — all at home — with the single loss came against South Africa.
Somerville, who took 4-75 in the first innings to finish with seven wickets in the match, broke a stubborn 43-run sixth-wicket stand between top scorer Babar Azam (51) and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, who made 28.
Patel ended Azam’s 114-ball resistance before getting the last wicket when he dismissed Hasan Ali for four, sparking celebrations among the New Zealand players.
Pakistan were again let down by sloppy batting. (AFP)