Late wickets give New Zealand control

Late wickets saw New Zealand close in on victory against Pakistan in the first Test in Christchurch on Saturday.

The hosts lost 96-7 to begin day three at Hagley Oval, bowled out for 200 – a first-innings lead of 67.

Debutant Jeet Raval (55) top scored for New Zealand, while Rahat Ali (4-62) was the main destroyer for the tourists.

Pakistan tried to grind in their second innings but, while that worked in periods, they were punished late in the day.

They lost 2-3 as Trent Boult (3-18) and Tim Southee (1-43) struck late in the day, with Neil Wagner (2-21) having done the earlier damage.

Pakistan reached stumps at 129-7, a lead of just 62, as New Zealand took control to be on the verge of a 1-0 series lead.

The hosts had earlier allowed Pakistan back into the game, having looked on track as they resumed at 104-3.

Henry Nicholls (30) and Raval went in consecutive overs before Colin de Grandhomme, who took six first-innings wickets, survived a review for caught behind.

De Grandhomme looked the most comfortable of the batsmen, but his 37-ball 29 came to an end at the hands of Sohail Khan (3-78).

Todd Astle (0) lasted just five balls as the movement continued to trouble batsmen, although Southee did manage to take 16 off a Khan over.

Despite the late swinging of Southee (22) and Wagner (21), New Zealand were all out before lunch.

Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam tried hard to see off the new ball – they scored just nine runs off the first 13 overs – before the latter fell to De Grandhomme (1-23).

Babar Azam survived an lbw review before a period of short-pitched Wagner bowling undid Pakistan.

Wagner claimed his 100th Test wicket when Azam (29) gloved a short ball behind to BJ Watling, and he also removed Younis Khan (1).

A loose shot from Misbah-ul-Haq (13) was followed by Boult bowling Azhar Ali (31) and Sarfraz Ahmed (2), and Mohammad Amir (6) also departing, as Pakistan fell apart.

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