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Williamson guides NZ to win over Pakistan
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 11 - 2016

Kane Williamson, leading New Zealand in a Test for the first time at home, scored his 24th half century to guide the hosts to an eight-wicket victory in the first Test against Pakistan here Sunday.
Chasing a target of 105 for the win, Williamson was dismissed on 61 with the hosts just a run shy of victory. Jeet Raval (36 not out) hit a four to push New Zealand over the line on 108 for two shortly after lunch on the fourth day.
New Zealand had bowled the visitors out in their second innings for 171 about an hour into the day's play at Hagley Oval.
Tom Latham was the only New Zealand wicket to fall before lunch when he failed to handle a bouncer from Mohammad Amir and was caught in the gully by Asad Shafiq for nine.
The victory was New Zealand's first in its last six Tests, having drawn the first match with South Africa in August before losing the second then being swept 3-0 by India in October.
"Naturally it's tough coming off a few losses but its good to be home and the boys stepped it up and put some of those feelings of defeat behind us to play a very good Test match," Williamson said in a televised interview.
The visitors had faced an uphill battle to prolong the Test, which had the first day washed out, beyond Sunday having resumed on 129 for seven and with a lead of just 62 runs, with only some strong counter-attacking from pace bowler Sohail Khan (40) pushing the target past 100.
"As a professional, as the No. 2 Test team in the world we should be better than that," said Pakistan opener Azhar Ali, who stepped in for post-match interviews after captain Misbahul Haq returned home due to a family emergency.
"Unfortunately his father-in-law is very serious and he has to go back," Azhar said.
Azhar added Misbah would be a big loss for his side, if he did not make it back in time for the match. Travel time between the two countries is a minimum of 18 hours each way.
"We'll miss him definitely," Azhar said.
"We should have put in a better batting show, especially the first innings."
"Misbah is a fantastic leader, certainly a great middle order batter and a world class player," Williamson said.
The second Test in the two-match series begins in Hamilton on Nov. 25.
Eyesight worry for Taylor
Senior New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has vision problems and will see an eye specialist before the second Test.
There has been concern about Taylor's lack of runs in recent Tests and he did not bat in his usual No. 4 spot in the second innings of the first Test. Taylor had his eyes checked before the start of the match and "it certainly showed he needed to see a specialist. No decision will be made on whether Taylor will play in the second Test starting in Hamilton Friday until the results of the tests are known. — Reuters
Pakistan (1st innings) 133
New Zealand (1st innings) 200
Pakistan (2nd innings)
Aslam c Watling b de Grandhomme 07
A. Ali b Boult 31
B. Azam c Watling b Wagner 29
Younis Khan c Watling b Wagner 01
Misbah c Boult b Southee 13
A. Shafiq c Raval b Wagner 17
S. Ahmed b Boult 02
M. Amir c Astle b Boult 06
Khan c de Grandhomme b Southee 40
Y.Shah not out 06
R. Ali c Latham b Southee 02
Extras: (b5, lb7, w5) 17
Total: (all out; 78.4 overs) 171
Falls: 1-21 (Aslam), 2-58 (Azam), 3-64 (Younis), 4-93 (Misbah), 5-93 (Azhar), 6-95 (Ahmed), 7-105 (Amir), 8-158 (Sohail), 9-166 (Shafiq), 10-171 (Rahat).
Bowling: Boult 17-5-37-3 (1w), Southee 23.4-10-53-3, de Grandhomme 14-4-23-1, Wagner 20-6-34-3, Astle 4-0-12-0.
New Zealand (2nd innings)
T. Latham c Shafiq b Amir 09
J. Raval not out 36
K. Williamson c Aslam b Azhar 61
H. Nicholls not out 00
Extras: (nb2) 02
Total: (2 wkts; 31.3 overs) 108
Falls: 1-19 (Latham), 2-104 (Williamson).
Bowling: Amir 7-2-12-1 (2nb), Sohail 6-1-21-0, Rahat 6-0-24-0, Shah 9.3-1-45-0, Azhar 3-1-6-1.

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