Despite Fawad, Rizwan’s heroics, New Zealand win first Pakistan Test

Thursday, 31 Dec, 2020

Kane Williamson and teammates appeal for a catch on day three of the Boxing Dy Test against Pakistan.

The first Test match between hosts New Zealand and Pakistan had all the elements of a dramatic game of cricket. A win for New Zealand will make the race for the ICC World Test Championship final even more interesting following Australia's loss to India.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson had declared his side's second innings at 180-5 about 30 minutes before tea.

Pakistan started the fifth day with an overnight score of 71/3, and Trent Boult provided the breakthrough straightaway after he nicked Azhar Ali (38) in the second over.

Jamieson has had a promising start to his global career, quickly becoming a vital part of New Zealand's pace bowling attack.

With the victory, New Zealand have reached the top of the ICC Trest rankings for the first time. Throughout the day there were moments of alarm or danger when the ball beat the edge or grazed the stumps.

But Fawad and Rizwan batted with great patience and concentration, eliminating risky shots as much as possible while accumulating runs, slowly but steadily. However, this knock has once again shown how valuable he is in the Pakistan batting line-up.

Rizwan has already been involved in one batting rescue operation in this test.

Pakistan were 3-71, still 302 runs from their victory target of 373, with Azhar Ali on 34 and Fawad Alam 21 not out.

Fawad, who bats out of an unorthodox full frontal stance with his back to his stumps and nearly directly facing the bowler, was still able to produce a full array of shots. Rizwan has been particularly effective driving on the off side.

Mohammad Abbas briefly troubled Latham, who sent three edges towards the slips, while a loud lbw appeal against Blundell was turned down with the TV umpire unable to distinguish whether the ball hit bat or pad first.

Babar, who has been Pakistan " s top run-scorer across all three formats since a year ago, suffered the injury during a throw-down session in Queenstown on December 12.