Pakistan vs New Zealand: Abu Dhabi heist marks Kiwi’s narrowest Test win
New Zealand celebrate beating Pakistan by four runs in Abu Dhabi. @AFP

A frenetic four-run win over hosts Pakistan – triggered by the debutant left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel – has put Kane Williamson’s New Zealand up 1-0 in the three-match series, with Friday’s scoreline in the first Test in Abu Dhabi being the narrowest for the touring team ever.

Victory by four runs beat the seven-run success the team had over Australia at Hobart in 2011.

Overall, New Zealand’s margin of victory is the fourth-lowest. The smallest win was by West Indies over Australia in Adelaide in 1993, followed by England’s two-run win over Australia at Birmingham during the 2005 Ashes.

Back in 1902, Australia beat England by three runs at Manchester, a margin equalled when England pipped Australia at the MCG in 1982.

Williamson was a chuffed captain after New Zealand resumed playing Test cricket after seven months with an epic win.

“It is nice to get these performances in and feels very rewarding,” he said. “There are so many small margins whether you have a win or a loss and we need to look at them, which is something you don’t do when you are on the right side. But this fighting spirit is what we would want to hold on to and take it through the rest of the series.”

Pakistan, chasing a target of 176, began the fourth day on 37 without loss and proceeded to lose three wickets in eight balls during the morning session. An 82-run stand between Azhar Ali (65) and Asad Shafiq (45) was snapped on the stroke of lunch, after which New Zealand took the remaining six wickets for 41 runs when play resumed.

Patel finished with 5/59 on Friday to be named Man of the Match on debut, aged 30, and termed the win as part of ‘the Kiwi way’.