Pakistan loses first test by eight wickets
CHRISTCHURCH- A Kane Williamson half-century helped New Zealand end a four-Test losing streak when it beat Pakistan by eight wickets in the first Test of a two-match series att Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Sunday (November 20).
A low-scoring match finished inside eight sessions after the first day’s washout, with Williamson’s 61 the top score of the match.
Set 105 to win after Pakistan was bowled out for 171 in its second innings on the morning of the fourth day, Williamson was dismissed with the scores level, leaving Jeet Raval to seal the win with a boundary off Yasir Shah.
It was a confidence boost for New Zealand, coming as it did after a 3-0 series whitewash in India and a 204-run loss to South Africa.
New Zealand’s debutants were the stars of the show. Raval, the opener, was unbeaten on 36 in the second innings after top-scoring in the first innings with 55, while Colin de Grandhomme took 6 for 41 with his medium-paced swing bowling in the first innings when Pakistan was shot out for 133.
After New Zealand replied with 200, Pakistan ended the third day on 129 for 7 and added a further 42. Sohail Khan posted a Test-best 40 as he and Asad Shafiq showed resistance at the start of the day. But their 53-run stand for the eighth wicket came to an end when Sohail half-pulled Tim Southee to de Grandhomme at backward square-leg.
Neil Wagner, who returned figures of 3 for 34, claimed the wicket of Shafiq for 17 and Southee ended the innings when he had Rahat Ali caught for two.
Southee finished with 3 for 53 and Trent Boult took 3 for 37.
Pakistan removed Tom Latham early in New Zealand’s second innings when he fended at a rising Mohammad Amir delivery and was caught by Shafiq at gully for nine. Williamson and Raval were largely untroubled until New Zealand reached 104 to level the scores and Williamson swept Azhar Ali to Sami Aslam at fine leg.
The second Test starts in Hamilton on Friday with New Zealand looking for its first series win over Pakistan in 31 years.