New Zealand collapsed to the lowest first-innings total registered by any Test team in Abu Dhabi as Pakistan made a strong start to the series on Friday.

The Black Caps capitulated from 111-3 to 153 all out on a slow track and they would have been facing total humiliation but for a half-century from Kane Williamson (63).

Yasir Shah took 3-54, while the excellent Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali and Haris Sohail took two wickets apiece.

Pakistan were 59-2 at stumps, already trailing by just 94 runs despite openers Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez throwing their wickets away.

Williamson, passed fit after recovering from a groin injury, arrived at the crease earlier than he would have hoped after winning the toss, Jeet Raval (7) nibbling Abbas behind and Tom Latham (13) falling to a poor shot in Yasir's first over.

The tourists were 39-3 when Ross Taylor edged Yasir behind, but Williamson and Henry Nicholls dug in to prevent further damage from being done before lunch.

Nicholls struck Yasir for back-to-back boundaries and Williamson played with more freedom early in the afternoon session, the captain bringing up his half-century off 88 balls with a textbook cut.

But Abbas, whose 12 overs cost only 13 runs, struck again when Nicholls (28) nicked through to Sarfraz Ahmed with a loose drive and New Zealand crumbled after Hasan (2-38) took two wickets in as many balls.

Williamson gloved behind down the leg side and Colin de Grandhomme was trapped leg before first ball, Haris then getting in on the act by removing Ish Sodhi (4) and BJ Watling (10).

New Zealand had lost seven wickets in 22 overs by the time Yasir rapped debutant Ajaz Patel on the pads in front, teenager Shaheen Afridi no doubt watching on enviously after missing out on a debut.

Imam - cleared to play a week after being struck on the helmet by a Lockie Ferguson bouncer - fell with a loose drive and Williamson took a second catch when Hafeez slapped a short ball from Trent Boult straight to him at midwicket.

It was Pakistan's day, though, after Haris (22 not out) Azhar Ali and (10no) denied New Zealand from making further inroads.