Cricket: Will Somerville leads Blackcaps fightback against Pakistan

Outstanding spin bowling from debutant Will Somerville helped the Blackcaps claw their way back into contention in the third cricket test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan were cruising along at 286/3, after a double-century fourth-wicket stand between Azhar Ali (134) and Asad Shafiq (104), but Somerville's heroics saw the hosts lose their last seven wickets for 62 runs, all out for 348.

The 34-year-old Somerville finished with 4/75, left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel took 2/100 and pace spearhead Trent Boult chipped in with 2/66. That gave Pakistan a 74-run lead - the same advantage they held in the first test at the same venue, before losing the match by four runs.

But Pakistan had the last laugh on Day Three, as New Zealand were reduced to 26/2, after losing openers Tom Latham (10) and Jeet Raval (zero) to leave them trailing by 48.

Even though the situation is not ideal, the Blackcaps will be satisfied, after Pakistan dominated the opening exchanges at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Resuming play on 139/3, Pakistan had a productive first session, adding 85 runs to their total before the lunch break.

New Zealand tried everything, but couldn't get the breakthrough - even after bowling 10 overs with the second new ball before lunch.

Azhar edged medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme through the slips to complete his first century against New Zealand. He took 210 balls to reach the three-figure mark, but was caught sweeping off Somerville, just before tea.

Shafiq brought up his 12th test ton off 259 deliveries, with a sharp single off Somerville, before falling leg-before-wicket to a straight Patel delivery, as Pakistan lost their final six wickets for just 44 runs.

Yasir Shah was run out at the non-striker's end, having stumbled and lost his shoe, before Somerville took the wickets of Hasan Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed to leave the Blackcaps trailing by 74 runs, after their first innings total of 274.

Pakistan made an early breakthrough in New Zealand's innings, as Shaheen Afridi captured the wicket of Raval, while Shah got his 199th when he took the scalp of Latham.

The Blackcaps will start Day Four with Kane Williamson (14) and nightwatchman Somerville (one) at the crease.