New Zealand wins toss, elect to bat in 3rd Test against Pakistan


Abu Dhabi, Dec. 03 (TNS): New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat in the third and final test against Pakistan on Monday.

Pakistan leveled the series 1-1 last week with a resounding innings and 16-run victory in the second test after New Zealand won the first test narrowly by four runs at Abu Dhabi last month.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah is on the brink of setting a record as the quickest bowler to reach 200 test wickets, after demolishing New Zealand with his 14-wicket haul in the second test.

Shah has taken 195 wickets in 32 tests. Australian Clarrie Grimmett holds the record, having taken his 200th wicket in his 36th test, in 1925.

Pakistan awarded a test debut to 18-year-old left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi after Mohammad Abbas was ruled out due to a shoulder injury.

New Zealand made two changes from the team which lost heavily to Pakistan in Dubai. The visitors awarded a test cap to tall 34-year-old off-spinner Will Somerville in place of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. Experienced seamer Tim Southee, who didn’t feature in the last two test matches, replaced Neil Wegner.

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Bilal Asif, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi.

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, B.J. Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.