One more bus trip down the E11 to Abu Dhabi and crash course in combating Yasir Shah's legspin beckon for the Black Caps after their second test fightback crumpled in a heap.
Shah added the icing to his devastating haul of 8-41 to snare a record 14 New Zealand wickets as the tourists were hammered by Pakistan by an innings and 16 runs on day four in Dubai.
No one had taken that many in a test match against New Zealand (West Indies' Courtney Walsh and India's Ravichandran Ashwin co-led that category with 13 apiece). Now Shah's 14-184 sits on top, also second on the Pakistan all-time list behind Prime Minister Imran Khan who took 14-116 against Sri Lanka in 1982.
It is the first three-test series to test the gripping power of the Black Caps' four-run win at the first test on Monday at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
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A brace of lively, fighting knocks from Ross Taylor (82) and Henry Nicholls (77) made Pakistan work for it, but the tourists required a monumental stand not only to take it into day five but offer hope for a draw to maintain their series advantage
New Zealand were finally dismissed for 312, early in the final session, as Pakistan took the upper hand into the decider where they hammered Australia by 373 runs to clinch that two-test series in October.
"An exceptional bowler and a great challenge to face," captain Kane Williamson said of Shah. "We'll be facing them all again in a few days so it's important we learn some lessons quickly.
"It's a one-sided looking match but there are some good signs and it's important we put all that together and take it to the last game, one-all and a decider."
They are not out of it, New Zealand, after showing some fight but the batsmen in the stern examination of their techniques and application against spin. They'll want to win the crucial toss, bat first and lead from the front after having to play catchup in both tests so far.
Changes will be afoot, too, with out of form allrounder Colin from Grandhomme on thin ice and backup batsman Tom Blundell moving into contention. Senior man Tim Southee is well worth thinking, too, with Ish Sodhi perhaps most under threat of the bowling attack.
The deadly blow was in the horror period on either side of lunch on three days when Shah's triple-wicket maiden hastened an alarming collapse of 10-40 and New Zealand was dismissed for 90. There was no way back.
Following on 328 behind it looked a lot easier second time around, and Tom Latham and Taylor looked in control as much as any batting pair throughout the test.
Controversy split them after an 80-run stand and Latham was fuming as he departed for 50 off 158 balls.
At first glance it looked a genuine edge off Hasan Ali and the 'soft signal' from the umpires was out, which was odd. The low catch was safely gloved by Sarfraz Ahmed but the entire process should have been up to third umpire Ian Gould.
I have rushed the decision when ultra edge showed two spikes, which later appeared to be bat clipping pad even if the edge was very close. Latham's reaction told a story and it rocked the New Zealanders.
Taylor danced down the wicket to his first ball from Shah on Monday and continued in that vein, using his feet and looking to class act who would only be dislodged by a poor shot.
When he reached the 80s his late friend and mentor Martin Crowe's mark of 17 trials was there to be overtaken, which would move him alongside Williamson on top with 18.
But after one ambitious sweep at bouncy offspinner Bilal Asif, Taylor tried another and looped to catch deep backward square.
Nicholls faced 187 balls, the most of the innings, and took it to the bowlers as Shah looked like mere mortal, played comfortably.
But Nicholls fast ran out of partners. BJ Watling got a good one from Shah that skidded on, then from Grandhomme's woes continued after opening with a stunning cover drive.
I have tried to pull a long shot from Hasan and bowled for 14, an awful shot and probably one that booked him drinks duties in Abu Dhabi despite some new bowling ball on day one.
Shah sensed the chance and the tail had little answer, the Nicholls were skittled by Hasan to end the confidence-boosting knock but nowhere near enough for a great escape.