Sodhi’s first-over wicket on day four gives New Zealand 41-run lead

Innings Pakistan 401 (Shakeel 125*, Imam 83, Sarfaraz 78, Ajaz 3-88, Sodhi 3-95) trail New Zealand 449 (Conway 122, Latham 71, Henry 68*, Abrar 4-149, Naseem 3-71, Salman 3-75

Ish Sodhi trapped No. 11 Abrar Ahmed off the final delivery of the first over of the fourth day to wrap Pakistan’s innings up. Saud Shakeel ended undefeated on a career-best 125 – his maiden Test century – as New Zealand eked out a 41-run lead.

Shakeel took a single off the penultimate ball of Sodhi’s over, and the legspinner tossed one up to Abrar on the fuller side on middle and off. The ball just hinted to turn away, as Abrar missed his push and was struck in front. He reviewed out of hope rather than any expectation, but the on-field decision stayed.

Sodhi finished with 3 for 95, and Ajaz Patel with 3 for 88. The pitch hasn’t had any demons yet, with both teams seeking an outright win after a drawn first Test.

On the third day’s play though, Tom Latham shelled two catches as the second Test in Karachi saw an otherwise tame third day’s play end with New Zealand bagging a flurry of wickets. Pakistan lost four wickets for 12 runs in a lower-order collapse in fading light, but Shakeel was still undefeated on a solid 124 from 336 deliveries.

Pakistan had earlier scored rather rapidly in the second session of day three, which fetched them 113 runs at more than four an over. Much of that was down to Sarfaraz Ahmed, who hit an entertaining 78 to keep piling runs on comeback, his thirty fifty in as many innings.

Before that, Imam-ul-Haq missed out on a century for a second successive time, falling for 83 as Southee broke the solid 83-run stand between Imam and Shakeel when he forced the former to play away from his body, with replays showing a faint nick off the toe end of the bat.

But both spinners Sodhi and Ajaz got into the action as the third day neared its end, leaving New Zealand with an opportunity of a meagre first-innings advantage. They got that advantage within one over of day four.

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