Brendon McCullum was the highlight of the day so far, bringing up his fourth Test double-century in 186 balls © AFP
Brendon McCullum was the highlight of the day so far, bringing up his fourth Test double-century in 186 balls © AFP

Nov 29, 2014

New Zealand reached a score of 388 for the loss of two wickets at the end of the first session of Day Three of the third Test against Pakistan at Sharjah on Saturday. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor were batting on scores of 135 and 26 respectively, while Yasir Shah was the second Pakistani bowler to take a wicket after Rahat Ali, removing skipper Brendon McCullum, who was dismissed after completing his double-century off just 186 balls. New Zealand were on top at the end of the session, scoring 139 runs for the loss of one wicket in 28 overs.

New Zealand resumed from their overnight score of 249 for the loss of one wicket, with McCullum and Williamson eyeing their double-century and century respectively. Williamson began the offensive in the early part of the session, smashing two boundaries in the first over of the day itself and racing to the 90s in  no time. Williamson eventually completed his eighth Test double-ton in 124 deliveries.

McCullum, who was on tearing the bowlers apart on the second day, was scoring at a slow pace for the first few overs. It was once he reached the 180s when he decided to return to his old ways once again. He brought up his double-century off the 186th delivery that he faced, sending a Yasir delivery for a massive six over long-on in a style that is typical of a hard-hitting batsman such as himself. Not only did McCullum compliment his earlier record of completing the fastest Test century by a New Zealand batsman, but managed to register the fourth fastest Test double hundred of all time.

Yasir Shah managed to redeem himself by dismissing McCullum a couple of deliveries later, bowling a beautiful full-length delivery that was pitched outside leg-stump. McCullum attempted to go for a sweep, but ended up missing the line of the delivery and letting the ball crash onto his stumps. The New Zealand skipper was congratulated by members of the opposition at the end of his knock, and was given a standing ovation by his team-mates and the spectators alike.

Ross Taylor came to the crease after the captain’s departure, and did not waste much time in getting off the mark. He hit his first six off the day in the 11th delivery that he faced, as New Zealand managed to gain a lead on the hosts. New Zealand will rely on Kane Williamson to anchor the the Kiwi innings for the rest of the day and guide them to an imposing total, in order to improve their chances of levelling the series.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 351 (Mohammad Hafeez 197, Azhar Ali 39, Misbah-ul-Haq 38; Mark Craig 7 for 94) trail New Zealand 388 for 2 (Brendon McCullum 202, Kane Williamson 135*; Rahat Ali 1 for 53, Yasir Shah 1 for 96) by 37 runs.

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