New Zealand v Pakistan Test series: Combined XI

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New Zealand’s Tim Southee (C) and teammates celebrate winning the test during day five of the second cricket Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at Seddon Park in Hamilton on November 29, 2016 (Photo credit MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

What a dramatic final session it turned out to be as the Black Caps registered a sensational victory over Pakistan in the most unexpected of manners in the Hamilton. When the last session began, a draw seemed to be the most likely result but the New Zealand bowlers were terrific to give the hosts a 2-0 series victory.

Pakistan began the final session requiring 211 of 34 overs with 9 wickets in hand. Those nine wickets fell in the space of 24.3 overs despite the pitch offering very little assistance to the bowlers. Courtesy their scintillating win, New Zealand won a series against Pakistan for the first time in 31 years.

With the series done and dusted, we bring you the Combined XI from the two Tests with cricketers from either side included in the XI.

1. Jeet Raval:

The debutant from the 1st Test, Jeet Raval was pretty impressive in his first two Tests. The stylish left-hander scored a fluent half-century in his debut innings and followed it up with an attacking 36* in the 2nd essay to hand the hosts a comprehensive victory in the 1st Test.

Raval looked like he already belonged to the international arena with his approach in the middle. He followed up his impressive performance in the 1st with yet another half-century in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test to help the hosts put up a competitive total. Though Raval was dismissed cheaply in the 2nd essay, he was pretty impressed with his performances in his debut series.

2. Sami Aslam:

The talented youngster, Sami Aslam didn’t have a particularly great series against the Black Caps but rounded it off with a brilliant 91 in the last innings of the 2nd Test at Hamilton.

Aslam was dismissed for 19 and 7 in the first Test in Christchurch as he failed to utilize on the start in the 1st innings and gave away his wicket pretty cheaply in the second. He was dismissed by Southee in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test while attempting a drive of a full-length delivery only to edge it to the wicketkeeper.

After his lackluster performances, Aslam scored a brilliant 91 in the 2nd innings to prove his credentials. He was again dismissed by Southee. With the fall of his wicket, Pakistan also fell apart and lost their last 9 wickets in the last session of the match.

3. Kane Williamson (C):

The Kiwis captain Kane Williamson had a pretty ordinary series according to his repertoire but handled his troops pretty well to help New Zealand to a series win over Pakistan.

The run machine was dismissed cheaply in the first innings of the 1st Test but just like a champion batsman does, Williamson came back strongly to score a fluent half-century in the 2nd innings. He was the one who hit the winning runs.

Williamson had a pretty ordinary outing in the 2nd Test scoring 13 and 42 but was pretty useful as a captain. He made exceptional bowling changes in the last session to clinch the Test from Pakistan with the visitors losing their last 9 wickets in a matter of 24 overs.

4. Ross Taylor:

The hard-hitting Kiwis middle order batsman was going through a lean patch and performed miserably in the Test series in India. Prior to the series he had complained about his vision and it was decided that he would undergo a surgery only after the completion of the Test match.

Having failed in the 1st test, Taylor scored a brilliant century in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test to storm back to form and remind everyone of his prowess. The innings was constructed with 16 boundaries as New Zealand declared their innings on 313/5.

5. Henry Nicholls:

Though Nicholls finds a place in the XI but it is largely due to inconsistent performances from the other members of Pakistan and New Zealand.

The left-hander began with a fluent 30 in the first Test and followed it up with 13 and 26 in the 2nd innings. Not brilliant under any stress of imagination but when compared to other players batting in this position, he gets the nod.

6. Colin de Grandhomme:

Grandhomme had a terrific Test debut as he wrecked the Pakistan top order with his breathtaking spell dismissing as many as six Pakistan batsmen in his first Test innings. It was a sensational piece of fast bowling and he eventually finished with 6/41 in 16 overs.

The right-arm medium fast bowler wasn’t picked particularly well by the visiting batsmen as they succumbed to his subtlety and variations. Following his impressive performance with the ball, Grandhomme contributed with the bat too scoring 29 in the 1st innings.

Grandhomme performed decently in the 2nd Test scoring 37 and 32 in the two innings and chipped in with two wickets (one each in per innings).

7. Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk):

Sarfaraz Ahmed who had been Pakistan’s consistent performer in various formats of the game didn’t do justice to his reputation as he failed to make an impact with the bat.

The hard-hitting wicket keeping batsman was dismissed cheaply for 4 and 2 respectively in the 1st Test but was pretty safe behind the stumps and didn’t miss a single chance.

Sarfaraz struck a quickfire 41 in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test and followed it up with 19 in the 2nd innings. Though his performance with the bat wasn’t impressive enough, he was superior with the big gloves on his hands.

8. Neil Wagner:

Neil Wagner was pretty consistent in the series picking 9 wickets in two Tests. Wagner who had a pretty impressive series in India continued his valor with the ball. He ran in and bowled his heart out.

After going wicket-less in the 1st innings of the 1st Test. Neil Wagner came back strongly to take three wickets in the 2nd innings and followed it up with six wickets in the 2nd Test.

He bowled with venom and hurried the batsmen with his steep bounce. Wagner was terrific during the last session of the 2nd Test and helped the hosts to clinch a victory by picking 3 wickets in the last session.

9. Mohammad Amir:

After making his comeback, Mohammad Amir hasn’t looked the bowler he was six years ago but has done enough to keep his place in the XI. Amir took three wickets in the first innings of the 1st Test and followed it up with a lone wicket in the 2nd essay. He was pretty impressive in the 1st innings and dismissed the openers Tom Latham and Jeet Raval quite cheaply followed by Tim Southee’s wicket later during the innings.

Amir was pretty ordinary in the 2nd Test and managed to scalp only three wickets in two innings as New Zealand ran past Pakistan quite comprehensively to win a series against the Asian giants after a gap of 31 years.

10. Tim Southee:

Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts in the series with 13 wickets in two Tests. He was pretty impressive in the 1st test and returned with figures of 2/20 in the 1st innings and 3/53 in the 2nd innings.

Southee was the tormentor in chief for the visitors as they kept poking outside the off-stump to surrender their wickets. He bowled in the perfect areas and allowed the pitch to do the rest though there was nothing much for the fast bowlers in the track.

He was exceptional in the 2nd Test and returned with six wickets in 1st innings. He destroyed the top order with disdain as Pakistan never managed to recover from their precarious situation and eventually lost the match in the last session of the Test. Southee also bagged a couple of wickets in the 2nd innings and was the man of the match.

11. Sohail Khan:

Experienced bowler Sohail Khan was indifferent with his bowling form during the series which proved to be vital for Pakistan’s demise in the series.

While Sohail took three wickets in the 1st Test and was quite beautiful with his outswingers, he was wicket-less in the 2nd innings and lacked penetration.

He returned with impressive figures of 4/99 in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test but was again lackluster in the 2nd innings going wicketless. Sohail was brilliant in patches but was unable to produce match winning spells on a consistent basis.

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