Twitter Reactions: New Zealand deny Pakistan's resistance to seal the first Test with 4.3 overs left

Twitter Reactions: New Zealand deny Pakistan’s resistance to seal the first Test with 4.3 overs left

Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan denied New Zealand any wicket for the best part of two session before Pakistan imploded in the final session.

New Zealand v Pakistan
New Zealand v Pakistan. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Test cricket never ceases to amaze. If you had been at the Bay Oval for the final Day’s play of the first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan, you will surely savour the experience for a long time. At the end of the second session, it looked as if the match was heading for a tame draw. Pakistan were cruising at 215/4, and a draw seemed imminent.

But then, in a twist of fortunes, Pakistan self-destructed in dramatic fashion to allow New Zealand to draw first blood in the series. The visitors lost their last 6 wickets for the addition of just 31 runs, as the Kiwis beat their opposition by 101 runs.

New Zealand could pick just a solitary wicket in the first two sessions

The first two sessions clearly belonged to the visitors. In both the sessions put together, Pakistan lost just a solitary wicket, that of Azhar Ali. Off the third ball of the 40th over, Trent Boult angled a delivery across Ali. The veteran poked at it, and edged the ball to BJ Watling behind the stumps.

That was the only source of joy for the Kiwis in the first two sessions as the visitors looked solid and thwarted the New Zealand bowling attack. The day undoubtedly belonged to Fawad Alam. The unorthodox batsman, with a Chanderpaul-like stance frustrated the Black Caps with his solidity. The left hander scored a defiant 102, and it is a century that he can savour for the rest of his career.

Pakistan skipper Mohammad Rizwan continued from where he left off in the first innings. The wicket keeper scored 60 off 191 deliveries, and was involved in a pivotal partnership of 165 runs with Alam. However, Rizwan was caught dead in front of the stumps in the final session by Kyle Jamieson for 60. Neil Wagner was rewarded for his persistence with the short ball throughout the day, as he induced a false stroke from Alam.

As the left hander departed for 102, having played out 269 deliveries, there was tension in the Pakistan camp. Yasir Shah was the next man to depart, edging Jamieson straight into the hands of first slip. Wagner then scalped the wicket of first innings hero Faheem Ashraf for 19, as Pakistan were in doldrums.

The final two wickets were only a matter of time. Mitchell Santner caught Mohammad Abbas plumb in front of the stumps. The left-arm spinner then finished the proceedings when he scalped Naseem Shah to give his side a victory in the nick of time with only 4.3 overs left in the day. Now, both the teams will head to Christchurch with the series on the line and everything to play for from January 3, 2021.

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