New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st Test

    Pakistan in New Zealand, 2 Test Series, 2020/21 | 1st Test | Friday 25th December | 22:00
    Day - 5,  Match Ended
    New Zealand
    & 180/5 dec (45.3) RR:3.95
    & 271 (123.3) RR:2.19
    • Commentary
    • Scorecard
    • Graphs
    • Match Info
    • New Zealand 1st inningsNZ 1st inn
    • Pakistan 1st inningsPAK 1st inn
    • New Zealand 2nd inningsNZ 2nd inn
    • Pakistan 2nd inningsPAK 2nd inn

    Right! Test cricket is well and truly alive. If someone tells you otherwise, show them the scorecard of this game. What an end to 2020. That's all from this game then. New Zealand take the lead in the 2-match series and at the same time, replace Australia from the top position in the ICC rankings. Yes. They are the number 1 Test team in the world. The number one team now will meet Pakistan in 2021. That game will begin on 3rd January 2021. The action will start at 1100 local (2200 GMT, the previous day). Join us for that. Until then, cheers and take care.

    Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, is back for a chat. He says that he is very happy with their ranking but it is great to come back with a win. Goes onto say that they played their best. Adds that the prospect of playing the final of the ICC World Test Championship final is a great motivator. Adds that they try their best to manufacture a result. Adds that there was always that chance of losing that game. Mentions that they declared because they thought that the wicket will deteriote. Goes onto say that this match was a spectacle for the fans. Adds that the pitch cracked up a bit and there was uneven bounce on it. Goes onto say that with the wind, the pitch started to aid the bowlers.

    Mohammad Rizwan, the Pakistan skipper, says that they fought really hard. Adds that New Zealand did more hard work than them and they deserve this victory. Goes onto say that they wanted to take few early wickets but fielding is the most important and they need to improve on that aspect. Tells that they had planned to chase it down but they lost early wickets and then the plans changed. Adds that they came back on Day 5 and thought of chasing it down. Credits Neil Wagner for performing brilliantly despite the injury. Says that they lost this match but they are still in the series and they will need to improve in their batting. Goes onto say that he is very happy with the guys.

    Kane Williamson, MAN OF THE MATCH. He says that the bowlers were outstanding in this game. Adds that it was a fantastic Test match. Credits Pakistan for fighting it out in the second innings and says that they are lucky to be on the winning side. Goes onto say that they have number of leaders out there and they try to take ideas off each other. States that it has been a long time to see a Test match go on for so long. Adds that the bowlers kept on working hard and it worked. Mentions that it is about adjusting to the surfaces as much as they can. States that Pakistan put them under pressure on the first day and it was nice to come out of that day in a respectable position. Tells that there were selfless acts throughout the game.

    Stick around for the post match presentation!

    You know what happened on Day 5! Character and guts and grit from Fawad and Rizwan. The never give up attitude of Wagner. The persistence from Jamieson that paid off. The masterstroke of throwing the ball to Santner by backing the instinct. The courage by Afridi to continue even after getting taking a big blow on the helmet. A lot of life lessons there! In the end, an absolute cracker of a Test match.

    In the second innings, the Kiwi openers brought up their half tons and eventually declared on Day 4, giving Pakistan a target of 373. Youngster Naseem Shah picked up 3 wickets in the 2nd innings for Pakistan. Pakistan lost their openers without any run on the board. Sohail too didn't do much and perished. Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam then made sure Pakistan didn't lose another wicket on Day 4.

    In response, Pakistan found themselves reeling as they lost their 6 wickets with the score not even crossing 100. Then came the rescue act led by Rizwan. He got an able partner in Faheem who played a superb knock too. Rizwan got run out on 71 while Faheem got out on 91. Pakistan eventually bundled for 239. If not for these two, Pakistan would've given away a way bigger lead than they gave. It was a collective bowling performance from the Kiwis but they would've loved to bundle the Pakistani side way early than they eventually did, especially after removing their 6 for less than 100.

    Earlier in the match, Rizwan won the toss and opted to field. Shaheen Afridi struck twice early to give the Kiwis early blows but after that, it was all about Kiwi batters. It was the skipper who led the charge and scored a fine ton. Taylor, Nicholls and Watling scored half tons and took the team to 431. Afridi finished with 4 while Yasir got 3. Others too got at least a wicket but it was hard work for them.

    However, the Kiwis didn't lose hope. They just kept coming, over after over. Eventually, the hard work paid off for them when Jamieson got the wicket of Rizwan. Once that happened, Fawad too followed him back to the pavilion and then it was just about how long the Kiwis will take to remove the tail. Afridi, in spite of getting a blow on his helmet, frustrated them for a little while along with Naseem Shah but it wasn't meant to be for Pakistan. Or maybe it was meant for the Kiwis. The inspired bowling change of Santner worked in the end for them as he plucked one out of thin air of his own bowling.

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