Neil Wagner was so focused on his role in securing New Zealand a famous four-run victory in Abu Dhabi that he barely realised he had produced a marathon 13-over spell.

Wagner, known for his capacity to produce long, energy-sapping spells, did not bowl until the 34th over of the innings but then operated from shortly before lunch until the final wicket fell. He was the one who triggered Pakistan's mind-boggling collapse by getting Asad Shafiq caught behind with the last ball of the morning session.

"It took a while to sink in," he said. "Adrenalin was running high. It was pretty hot at one stage, and the nature of wicket, it did feel like you were tiring a little but you tried not to think about it or look at the scoreboard. When someone mentions you've bowled 13 overs, then you start feeling tired. I was going all right, you are in a bit zone, and you just keeping going. It hits you when you go to bed.

Wagner would later claim Yasir Shah, caught at slip for a duck, while left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel become a hero on his Test debut with a five-wicket haul to secure the fifth-narrowest Test victory in history.

"It's pretty surreal to be honest," Wagner said. "An amazing fightback. We knew we'd be in with a chance if we kept fighting. That last hour was quite freakish.

"The feeling in the changing room, looking at everyone's faces and seeing the joy and relief, being surprised at what we've achieved. It was pretty awesome to see a guy like Ajaz Patel come in in his first Test, it took me about eight Tests to have my first win, so to play a special part in a win, see a smile on his face, was a cool moment."

The back-from-the-brink nature of the win, not just on the final day but from the moment New Zealand were bowled out for 153 in the first innings, has instilled a belief that no cause is lost. Victory in Dubai would give New Zealand just their second series victory away from home against Pakistan.

"We know that even if we are a little bit behind we can keep fighting, we know what we can achieve," Wagner said. "It was bloody tough, hard work, a big fight and it will just get harder. [Pakistan] will come back hard. Hopefully we can do something similar and pretty special."