Sarfraz Ahmed felt the run out of Babar Azam was the pivotal moment in Pakistan's spectacular and dramatic collapse to defeat against New Zealand in the first Test.

Set 176 to win on day four in Abu Dhabi, the home side appeared set for a routine chase with Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq putting on 82 for the fourth wicket to take Sarfraz's men to within 46 of victory.

But from 130-3, Pakistan crumbled to 171 all out, their malaise encapsulated by the fall of the fifth wicket, when a mix-up between Babar and Azhar saw both men standing at the same end.

After Babar departed, the Black Caps' debutant spinner Ajaz Patel finished with 5-59 to secure a four-run success as Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for just 41.

"I think our team was not able to handle the pressure," rued Sarfraz.

"Babar Azam's run out, when 40 runs were left in the chase, can be termed as the turning point as it initiated the collapse.

"We have given away soft wickets. Nobody played a long innings. It is very disappointing to say the least. The way we started off yesterday we felt we will get through to the target easily.

"But then we lost three wickets and it was important for set players to play on but that did not happen and you have to praise New Zealand's bowlers, especially Patel.

"A batsman needs to spend time on this wicket. There has been a trend, of both teams, losing wickets in clumps. We should have chased it down. It is indeed very disappointing.

"The message for the batsmen was to continue playing positive cricket like we had the last day. Our dismissals have been very soft. This is what we must look at as a batting unit. Our batsmen have taken starts but haven't been able to prolong their innings.

"Of course, the result is disappointing. We had the match in our control, but we let it go. We will try to forget what has happened and focus on what's next."

The second Test gets under way in Dubai on Saturday.