Pakistan vs New Zealand: Kane Williamson battles into lunch after Yasir Shah double
Yasir Shah took two wickets in his first four overs on Friday. (file photo)

In their first Test in seven months, New Zealand face a trial by spin after losing two wickets to Yasir Shah on the opening morning of the first Test with Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. A customary wicket to the sensational Mohammad Abbas set the tone for Pakistan’s dominance after Kane Williamson chose to bat, and two quick wickets to Yasir forced the tourists into a shell.

At lunch on Friday, New Zealand were 81/3 in 37 overs with Williamson on 40 and Henry Nicholls on 15.

A watchful opening stand of 20 was broken in the 11th over when Abbas had Jeet Raval (7) nibbling an edge to Sarfraz Ahmed, the reward for maintaining a probing line to the left-hand opener. Hasan Ali was fruitless but very accurate in a second spell of 5-4-1-0 that added to the pressure on the New Zealand batsmen, while Yasir made inroads.

The legspinner delivered a wicket in his first over as Tom Latham (13) tamely pushed a catch to Mohammad Hafeez at short midwicket, and his second came when Ross Taylor (2) was lured into a prod at a juicy legbreak that drew the edge for Sarfraz to take his second catch.

Williamson had little option but to shore up one end watchfully as Yasir found a bit of turn and Hasan probed away. His on-side play was particularly pleasing, as evident by a couple wristy whips for four off Yasir. Nicholls displayed a good technique against spin, even daring to venture out to Yasir and hit him between midwicket and mid-on for four.

Lunch: New Zealand 81/3 vs Pakistan