Williamson, Nicholls thwart Pakistan after Yasir's record
Leg spinner Yasir Shah’s record-breaking feet was trumped by the New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson as the hosts orchestrated a tremendous comeback from a precarious situation early in the morning on day four of third and final Test in Abu Dhabi.
The early morning belonged to Yasir who collected the one wicket he needed to become the fastest man to reach 200 wickets in Test cricket. The rest of the day, however, belonged to Williamson and Henry Nicholls, who added an unbroken 212-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Williamson was 139 not out while Nicholls made an unbeaten 90.
With the series tied at 1-1, New Zealand will resume their second innings with a lead of 198 on day five.
The day began in high anticipation with New Zealand resuming at 26-2 and Yasir taking the ball to bowl the third over.
He needed just one wicket to break a record set 82 years ago by the great Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett who had needed 36 Tests to reach the milestone of 200 Test wickets.
When Yasir trapped nightwatchman Will Somerville leg before for four with his 13th delivery of the day, he reached the 200-wicket mark in just his 33rd Test.
"Ever since I knew this record it became my dream to take fastest 200 wickets and it came true today," said Yasir, who still hopes Pakistan can pull off a win.
"The wicket is slow but it is turning from the patches. We want to bowl them and try to go for the chase. That is what we are going to try as there is still one full day left in the match."
The key moment for Pakistan in the field came when Yasir dropped Williamson on 87 off Bilal Asif when he failed to catch a full blooded pull at square-leg.
Williamson, who scored 89 in the first innings, drove medium pacer Hasan Ali to the cover boundary for his 19th Test century – his second against Pakistan.
Nicholls also survived a loud leg-before appeal off Yasir when on three, but Pakistan erred by not reviewing the not-out decision as the ball tracker showed it would have hit the leg stump.
Nicholls successfully challenged a leg-before verdict on nine and was dropped on 50 by Imam-ul-Haq off a luckless Yasir.
The duo also bettered the previous fifth-wicket record against Pakistan of 183 set by Mark Burgess and Robert Anderson in Lahore in 1976.
Yasir has figures of 2-107 while Shaheen has taken 2-55.