19th November 2018 saw the conclusion of a Test match that had the 5th closest victory margin with respect to runs. In a low scoring Test match, all 40 wickets fell and the teams scored total 800 runs with exactly 20 runs per wicket. The teams who were batting were Pakistan and New Zealand and the venue of this special Test match was the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The match saw many ups and downs for both the teams and it started with Pakistan having the early initiatives. Despite losing the toss, the Pakistani bowlers delivered a great bowling performance to all-out New Zealand for just 153 runs in 66.3 overs. Mohammad Abbas was going through a purple patch and delivered magical figures of 12-7-13-2. Hassan Ali and Harris Sohail also took two wickets each as Yasir Shah finished with 3/54. For New Zealand, only the captain Kane Williamson fought hard to post 63.
Pakistan had a good performance from their middle-order and at 174/4 looked destined to take a big lead over the Kiwis. However, Ashad Shafiq was bowled by Trent Boult for 43 and it triggered a collapse as they lost their last six wickets for just 53 runs. Babar Azam top-scored with 62 and was the last man to get out. Boult finished with four wickets and two wickets were taken by Colin de Grandhomme and debutant Ajaz Patel.
Despite conceding a 74-run first-innings lead, New Zealand batted well in a quickly
deteriorating pitch. Great patience was shown by opener Jeet Raval (37 of 120) and Williamson (37 off 91) but the key partnership was played between Henry Nicholls (55) and BJ Watling (59) who added 112 runs in more than 50 overs. Both Hassan Ali and Yasir Shah picked up five wickets each in the second innings.
Despite all this, the target for Pakistan was just 176 and they looked all set to complete the victory when they were 130/3 just after the lunch on day four. However, Neil Wagner provided the breakthrough by dismissing Asad Shafiq for 45. Post that there was another classic Pakistan like a collapse in the second innings where the last five batsmen all together contributed just three runs. When Pakistan lost their 9th wicket, they still required 12 and they had Azhar Ali batting on a 50 plus score. But despite surviving seven overs they could add just seven runs and finally, Ajaz Patel got Azhar plumb in front with Pakistan losing the Test match by just four runs. The debutant Ajaz recorded a brilliant bowling performance of 59/5.
Watch here the highlights of last day in the test match