New Zealand began 2021 in the best possible manner, bowling out Pakistan for 186 in their second innings to seal an innings and 176-run victory – a result that pushed them to the summit of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings for the very first time.
Pakistan resumed on the fourth morning at 8/1, after New Zealand had posted a mammoth lead 362, but were up against it, with Kyle Jamieson continuing his meteoric rise in Test cricket, taking another five-wicket-haul to dismantle the visitors, to end with match figures of 11/117.
There was resistance from Azhar Ali (37), Abid Ali (26) and later Faheem Ashraf (28) and Zafar Gohar (37), but the batsmen couldn’t stitch together partnerships big enough to demotivate New Zealand, and that proved to be their undoing.
New Zealand win by an innings and 176 runs 🌟— ICC (@ICC) January 6, 2021
An all-round performance has helped 🇳🇿 to a big victory over Pakistan in the second Test.
They take the series 2-0 👏 pic.twitter.com/SuySqGLpHe
It didn’t take long on the fourth morning for New Zealand to break through, Trent Boult working over nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas, who was convinced he hadn’t nicked it and opted for a review, only for replays to suggest the on-field umpire had made the right call.
If New Zealand thought that would trigger a slide, they were mistaken. Abid and Azhar put on 29 for the third wicket, the partnership taking up as many as 80 deliveries before Abid was seen off by Jamieson, thanks to a stunning catch by substitute fielder Will Young at point.
Azhar continued battling, with Sohail in support, and the duo added a further 33 after lunch. However, once again, Jamieson proved too hot for the Pakistan batsmen to handle, the tall pacer this time finding the edge of Sohail to break the stand. When Azhar followed suit four overs later – Jamieson had him caught behind – the writing was on the wall for Pakistan.
Kyle Jamieson has six! The first time he's done it in a Test innings and his fellow bowlers love it at Hagley Oval. Pakistan 145-8 as Shaheen replaces Faheem Ashraf who was caught by BJ Watling for 28. Follow play LIVE in NZ with @sparknzsport #NZvPAK pic.twitter.com/E2c8scR6Tm— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) January 6, 2021
The Pakistan batsmen then put on mini-partnerships, only delaying what increasingly seemed inevitable. Jamieson had his fifth wicket of the innings – and 10th in the match – when his inswinger from well outside off left captain Mohammad Rizwan’s stumps in a mess. When he had Ashraf nicking one, Pakistan’s resistance was all but over.
Zafar Gohar, the debutant, resisted well thereafter, but captain Kane Williamson got into the act with the ball at the other end, dismissing Shaheen Afridi (7). When Gohar then holed out off Boult, history was sealed.