New Zealand claim 2-1 series win over Pakistan with dramatic victory in Abu Dhabi

High fives all round for the Kiwis who won the crunch Test in the UAE capital to claim the three-match series. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2018
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New Zealand claim 2-1 series win over Pakistan with dramatic victory in Abu Dhabi

  • Black Caps bowl hosts out for 156 to win first away series against Pakistan in 49 years.
  • Pakistan let first innings lead slip for second time in series.

ABU DHABI: 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 three for 52 and was aided by fellow spinner Ajaz Patel’s three for 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 four for 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.
They were off to a disastrous start when Mohammad Hafeez, in his last innings before he retires from Test cricket, was bowled by fast bowler Tim Southee for eight.

MATCH-TURNING INNINGS

Medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme had first-innings centurion Azhar Ali caught behind for five before Somerville’s double strike pushed Pakistan to 55 for five at lunch.
Somerville had Haris Sohail caught off a tentative push in the slip with his third ball of the first over for nine and next ball had first innings centurion Asad Shafiq caught behind off the glove.
In the last over before lunch Imam-ul-Haq, watching four wickets fell at the other end, gave an easy catch to forward short-leg off Patel for 22.
Earlier, New Zealand declared their second innings on 353 for seven after some 45 minutes of batting with Henry Nicholls remaining unbeaten on 126 and Kane Williamson dismissed at his overnight score of 139.
That 212-run stand between Williamson which brought New Zealand back into the game on Thursday, was finally broken with the very first ball of the day.
Medium pacer Hasan Ali trapped Williamson leg before and even a review did not prolong the New Zealand skipper’s innings.
But his 283-ball knock, containing 13 boundaries, turned the match.
Nicholls took a sharp single to complete his third Test hundred and finished with 12 hits to the ropes during his 266-ball knock.
De Grandhomme struck two boundaries and two sixes as New Zealand added 81 runs in 45 minutes, ensuring they set up a daunting target for Pakistan.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah finished with four for 129 and debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi took two for 85.


Green triple-double fuels Warriors’ comeback win

Updated 19 May 2019
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Green triple-double fuels Warriors’ comeback win

  • The Golden State Warriors rallied for a 110-99 victory over the Trail Blazers in Portland
  • The two-time defending champion Warriors trailed by as many as 18 in the second quarter

LOS ANGELES: Draymond Green exploded for a seventh career playoff triple-double Saturday as the Golden State Warriors rallied for a 110-99 victory over the Trail Blazers in Portland and a 3-0 lead in the NBA Western Conference finals.
The two-time defending champion Warriors trailed by as many as 18 in the second quarter, but with Green driving them they produced another dominant third period to seize control of the contest and the series.
No team has come back from an 0-3 deficit to win an NBA playoff series. The Trail Blazers will try to fend off elimination when they host game four on Monday.
Green scored 20 points with 13 rebounds and 12 assists, keeping the Warriors afloat in the first half before superstar Stephen Curry came alive with 21 of his 36 points after the interval.
“There aren’t many guys in the game that can (affect both ends of the floor),” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Green beforehand. “Draymond can do both.”
His intensity was on display on both ends of the court, and on the sidelines as he exhorted teammates to keep pushing.
Klay Thompson added 19 points for the Warriors, who were again without injured star Kevin Durant.
“All my teammates, my coaches have been telling me, ‘Draymond, get to the hole, be aggressive,’” Green said of his mindset.
“We’ve got guys out there, Steph, Klay and those guys who draw a lot of attention, so it’s on me to do my job and come through for those guys.”
CJ McCollum led Portland with 23 points. Damian Lillard, relentlessly double-teamed by the Warriors, added 19 points.
Center Meyers Leonard, making just his third start of the season, finished with 16 points.
Leonard made the most of his opportunity early, connecting on five of seven shots from the field in the first half on the way to 13 points.
The Trail Blazers, energized in front of a rowdy home crowd at the Moda Center, quickly built a 10-point lead before the Warriors trimmed it to two — 29-27 — at the end of the first quarter.
But the Blazers kept the pressure on, stretching the lead to 18 in the second quarter.
A steal by Lillard produced a thunderous dunk from Leonard, then Portland’s Seth Curry stole the ball from his superstar brother Stephen and raced for a three-pointer that made it 60-42 with 2:28 remaining in the first half.
Portland took a 66-53 lead into the locker room, but the Warriors responded with a monster third quarter, using a 22-6 scoring run to take their first lead of the game, 77-76 on a layup by Kevin Looney — assisted by Green.
Golden State out-scored Portland 29-13 in the quarter to lead by three heading into the final frame.
The Warriors pushed the lead to 11 with 4:51 remaining and the Trail Blazers wouldn’t get the deficit below eight from there.