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Boult strikes late for Kiwis

Trent Boult grabbed three late wickets after Neil Wagner collected his 100th Test victim to put New Zealand firmly in control of the first Test against Pakistan at close of play on the third day on Saturday.

Boult strikes late for Kiwis
Trent Boult


The visitors were reduced to 129 for seven in their second innings, a lead of 62 runs, with Asad Shafiq on six and Sohail Khan on 22 at Christchurch. 

Until the last 45 minutes on play, the visitors had taken the day’s honours by inching into the lead. Boult, however, took the catch to dismiss Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (13) then got the wickets of Azhar Ali (31), Sarfraz Ahmed (2) and Mohammad Amir (6), giving his side the chance to finish off the test on Sunday and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. The 30-year-old Wagner had earlier become the second fastest New Zealander to the 100-wicket mark, achieving it in his 26th test. Richard Hadlee, the country’s most prolific wicket taker with 431, took 25 tests to reach 100. 

Pakistan’s seamers had dragged their side back into the game when they captured seven wickets in the first session to bowl the hosts out for 200. 

Sohail (3-78), Rahat Ali (4-62) and Amir (3-43) shared the wickets after the hosts had resumed on 104 for three only to be bundled out with just a 67-run lead. Pakistan were content to slowly chip away at the deficit, losing opener Sami Aslam  just after lunch. Azhar and Babar Azam continued to grind away until well into the final session before Wagner’s shortpitched tactics paid off 

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