- New Zealand go into the game with a 1-0 lead, which they earned by a margin of just four runs in one of the closest matches Test cricket has ever witnessed. It was a victory out of nowhere; Pakistan were cruising at 130 for 3 chasing 176, and ended up being bowled out for 171.
That wasn’t the first time Pakistan missed out on an opportunity to seal the game either. They bowled out New Zealand for 153 in the first innings, but failed to capitalise on the bowling effort to be skittled out for 227 themselves. It allowed New Zealand a slight entry into the game, which blew wide open by the time it ended.
Head coach Mickey Arthur might have termed the four-run defeat as the worst of his coaching career. But, what should be worrisome for the team management is the fact that this was the third time since May 2017 that Pakistan crashed in a low-score chase.
For New Zealand, a fascinating Ajaz Patel debut means that Kane Williamson has a trustworthy spin option that can wreak havoc in the next two Tests. But, like Pakistan, New Zealand too need to revisit their batting plans ahead of the second Test as the only silverlining of their batting department from the first Test was a second-innings century stand between Henry Nicholas and BJ Watling.
- New Zealand (From): Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(w), Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Tom Blundell, William Somerville, Matt Henry, Tim Southee