New Zealand captain Kane Williamson scored his 19th career century to help the Kiwis fight back on day 4 of the third and deciding Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
Williamson was unbeaten on 139 and together with Henry Nicholls (90 not out) the duo shared in a yet to be broken stand of 212 as the Black Caps closed the day on 272/4, a lead of 198.
The pair came together when the tourists lost nightwatchman Will Somerville (4) and Ross Taylor (22) to leave themselves in trouble at 60/4.
Somerville went lbw to Yasir Shah to give the Pakistan leg-spinner his 200th wicket in the longest format.
Yasir has reached the 200-wicket milestone faster than any other player in Test history – taking 33 matches – beating another leg-spinner, Clarrie Grimmett of Australia, who reached the mark in his 36th Test 82 years ago.
Taylor was dismissed by left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi but Williamson and Nicholls buckled down to first knock over the deficit and then put New Zealand ahead.
The duo batted out two full sessions, combating Pakistan kingpin Yasir and off-spinner Bilal Asif, who took five wickets in the first innings.
Nicholls is now in sight of his third Test hundred and with the Kiwis hoping to still build the lead further on the final day to try and push for a series win.
“The reality is at the time [Saturday] he didn’t have a concussion.”
Mixing politics with sport rarely ends well.
James Anderson will play for Lancs second XI as his rehabilitation steps up.
Smith underwent a “precautionary scan” of his neck that thankfully had not revealed any structural damage.
“I think it was important that we bounced back strongly after Edgbaston and I think we’ve certainly done that.”
Jofra Archer has changed the mood if not the scoreline.
Steve Smith out, Marnus Labuschagne in.
Woakes enjoyed Archer v Smith just as much as the rest of us.
The marquee might read England v Australia, but we all know it’s Steve Smith v Jofra Archer
Thankfully, Smith appears to have suffered no lasting damage.