1st Test New Zealand v Pakistan - New Zealand clinch the opening Test
The equation on the last day for Pakistan was to score 302 runs in the 98 overs available, with seven wickets in hand, as expected proved beyond them. New Zealand clear favourites only met with resistance from two middle order batsmen- Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan – on their way to a 101 run win, with 33 balls left in the match. After which they now go to the top of the ICC World Test Championship.
New Zealand 431 and 180 - 5 dec
Pakistan 239 and 271
Result – New Zealand won by 101 runs
It took only nine balls for New Zealand to break the overnight stand when Azhar Ali edged Trent Boult to be caught behind for 38. Pakistan needed his experience to bat long to have any chance of avoiding a defeat. It was such a slow going that 100 of the innings came at the end of the 48th over. Both Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson kept it very tight as Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan, hung on for their dear lives. It was a matter of survival and nothing fancy at that stage of the game.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, tried to outfox the two batsmen at the crease with his unorthodox catching positions but failed in his attempt as Pakistan went into the lunch break on 137-4. Fawad, at times unconvincing, had batted more than three hours and was unbeaten on 48 off 147 balls and the 5th wicket stand was worth 62 now. There was still minimum of 71 overs to survive for the tourists, with the second new ball 15 overs away.
Left-handed Fawad, who was not needed by Pakistan for more than a decade, on his return has had to bat in pretty challenging conditions, in both England and here in New Zealand. The pair battled on and were still together at Tea and the score had progressed to 215-4 with Fawad on 94 and Riwan with 45 to his name. At this stage one could say, all four results were possible with a glimmer of hope for Pakistan to cause an upset. Fawad reached his second Test hundred with a pull to the square-leg off Neil Wagner. Boy, he had worked so hard to get three figures against his name. The two batsmen could see that Pakistan now needed 135 runs off the last 30 overs but as the last two recognized pair, everything rested on their shoulders.
Their partnership was finally broken in the 103rd over when birthday boy Kyle Jamieson trapped Rizwan for 60 with the ball that kept low and wasn’t given by the on-field umpire. Pakistan captain led the fight from the front and could not be faulted for anything in this match. He batted 15 minutes short of 5 hours and hit six fours. New Zealand were back in business when Wagner induced a false short from Fawad, to be caught down the leg-side off his glove. The batsman could be really proud of his 102 for which he batted for 6 hours and 36 minutes and hit 14 fours.
After the fall of the sixth wicket 242, Pakistan’s lower order was asked to survive for 22 overs which they failed to do so as five New Zealand bowlers shared two wickets apiece to bowl out the opposition for 271 and earn an exciting win.
New Zealand - Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(wk), Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult
Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan(c)(wk), Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah
Start Time: 22:00
Toss: Pakistan won the toss and decided to field
Venue: Bay Oval, Tauranga
Officials: Christopher Gaffaney, Wayne Knights, Christopher Brown, Shaun Haig, Jeffrey Crowe
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