New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test: 5 Talking Points

New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test: 5 Talking Points

Kane Williamson of New Zealand
Kane Williamson of New Zealand speaks to his teammates. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

A fighting knock from Kane Williamson ensured that New Zealand snapped their losing streak to ensure an eight-wicket win over Pakistan in Christchurch. The match, however, ran just the two and a half days, something that is not the trend in recent times. While Kane Williamson impressed with some terrific batting acumen, it was Kane Williamson who took the bull by the horns to ensure a win.

Colin de Grandhomme was adjudged the man of the match courtesy of his six-wicket haul in the first innings, something that was most unprecedented. Apart from this, it was the brilliance with the bat of Jeet Raval as he managed an impressive performance in both innings that he batted. Moreover, the surprising ordeal was the fact that Yasir Shah went wicketless in the match, something not many is used to.

1. New Zealand pacers blast out Pakistani resistance

The Pakistan resistance of the morning was shunted out by the New Zealand pacers. While each pacer bowled in excess of 15 overs apiece, Todd Astle, the low-key debutant for the Kiwis was handed just the 4 overs. However, in spite of all this, the Kiwi pace bowling battery managed to pick three wickets apiece while it was Colin de Grandhomme who managed just the one wicket in the second innings.

Sohail Khan led the Pakistan resistance with the bat with a quickfire 40 runs, 29 of which were scored on the previous day. However, he was supported by only Yasir Shah who made things difficult for the New Zealand bowlers with some phenomenal defensive prowess. Needless to say, the Pakistanis were blasted out for 171 thus setting a target of 108 for their counterparts.

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2. Mohammad Amir begins with nail-biting first spell

In the cricketing world, only two players can make an impact with the ball in the first session or the opening session of play. They are Mohammad Amir and Mitchell Starc. Especially, in swinging conditions such as those in Christchurch, it seemed clear that Mohammad Amir would be one hell of a bowler to handle. However, Amir was made to work hard despite the ball swinging as much. Also, given the fact that Tom Latham and Jeet Raval were perhaps the last people who were going to give away their wickets, it seemed quite clear that the ball was indeed doing its bit. Amir, however, dismissed Tom Latham with a peach of a delivery that found its way to Asad Shafiq at gully, the only evidence to showcase for his hard work.

3. Jeet Raval proves to be a rock-solid batsman

As he did in the first innings, Jeet Raval once again proved that he was a batsman par excellence. The 28-year old impressed quite a bit with some fantastic batting in the second innings as well, something that set the example for the players to follow in these type of seaming conditions. He waited it out for over two hours on the day and defended most of the deliveries that were either tossed up by Yasir Shah or swung away by the impressive Mohammad Amir.

4. Kane Williamson plays a captain’s innings

Kane Williamson played a captain’s knock as the Kiwis coasted to an impressive win on the day. While Jeet Raval was proving to be a nuisance with the bat with his defensive prowess, it was Kane Williamson who was cashing in with some impressive stroke play. No wonder they call him the most technically gifted player in the New Zealand squad. He managed 61 runs in 77 deliveries, a knock that included four boundaries and a six, something that was most unprecedented given the fact that he was making things happen with the bat.

5. Kiwis complete important Test match win

This is New Zealand’s first win since their arduous tour of Zimbabwe this year. As mentioned earlier, it was also the time when the Kiwis managed their first win a few months. Also, the fact of the matter remained that all of Kane Williamson’s matches have churned out a result. He won his first two matches against Zimbabwe, lost the next five against India and South Africa and now has a win under his belt against Pakistan. It is not the most enviable record, but a record that is expected to improve with time.

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