Pakistan to face New Zealand at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi today

Pakistan to face New Zealand at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi today

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ABU DHABI: Pakistan struck early to remove both New Zealand openers, after the tourists won the toss and chose to bat in the first of three Test matches at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Pacer Mohammad Abbas had Jeet Raval out cheaply for 7, and spinner Yasir Shah removed Tom Latham for 13 in the first session of the day.

Fit-again New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson returned to action after missing the last one-day international in Dubai on Sunday with a groin injury.

New Zealand handed Test debut to 30-year-old left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, leaving out paceman Tim Southee.

Pakistan’s opener Imam-ul-Haq returned to the side after missing the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi with a finger injury.

Pakistan have not beaten New Zealand in a Test series since 2011. The Green Shirts, however, crushed New Zealand 3-0 in T20s while their one-day series was shared 1-1 after the third match ended in a no result due to rain in Dubai.

The second Test is in Dubai (November 24-28) and the third, again in Abu Dhabi (December 3-7).

Playing XI

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

New Zealand: Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi

Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS) and Ian Gould (ENG)

Tv umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)

Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)

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