Abb Takk News

Sharjah Test: New Zealand take a massive 339-run lead

New Zealand continued to pulverise Pakistan on the fourth morning as their last two wickets stretched the lead beyond 300, leaving their bowlers with five-and-a-half sessions to affect a series-equalising win. The Pakistan batsmen would want to take a cue from the New Zealand lower order, which was at ease against pace and spin on a flat pitch.

Mark Craig registered his second Test half-century, reaching the landmark with a six – the 20th of the innings – off the 71st delivery he faced. The tally of sixes further inflated to 21, the most by any team in a Test innings, as Craig smashed Mohammad Hafeez over long-off. By the time he was dismissed, Craig had added another 45 with Ish Sodhi – who struck the 22nd six of the innings – in quick time and the total had crossed 680, New Zealand’s previous best Test score that came against India earlier this year.

The innings could have ended on 689 as Sodhi stepped out to Hafeez and missed the ball, but Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper, chose to appeal for a caught behind rather than effect a simple stumping. New Zealand could only add one more run, though, as Sodhi top-edged a sweep to Younis Khan at first slip.