New Zealand beat Pakistan by 101 runs to move to top of ICC Rankings. This Boxing Day test match was played at Mount Maunganui in New Zealand. It was a very hard fought match. Until even the last session, all results were possible. This was the most hard fought of the 3 Boxing Day test matches played and even the margin of victory suggests so.
1st innings New Zealand 431-10(155 overs). K Williamson 129(297), BJ Watling 73(145), S Afridi 4/109, Y Shah 3/113.
Pakistan 239-10(102.2 overs). F Ashraf 91(134), M Rizwan 71(142), K Jamieson 3/35, N Wagner 2/50.
2nd innings New Zealand 180-5d (45.3 overs). T Blundell 64(107),T Latham 53(112), N Shah 3/55, M Abbas 1/33.
Pakistan 271-10(123.3 overs. F Alam 102(269), M Rizwan 60(191), T Southee 2/33, K Jamieson 2/35.
Man of the Match- Kane Williamson
After winning the toss, Pakistan captain Md Rizwan decided to bowl first. He wanted to make use of the conditions to restrict NZ to a low total. That plan seemed to work initally when Shaheen Afridi got both of NZ’s openers cheaply in the pavilion.
But then, NZ’s two most experienced players, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor bailed them out of trouble and stitched a good partnership of 120 runs. Apart from the century by the skipper, there were quite a lot of half-centuries. Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls and BJ Watling all scored their respective 50s. This took NZ to quite a competetive first innings total.
Then NZ’s pacers did the job and at one point Pak were 80-6. They were well on track to follow on their innings. But then captain Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf made a good partnership of 107 runs. Both of them scored fifties and Ashraf missed his century by just 9 runs.
In NZ’s second innings, their openers gave them a solid start. Latham and Blundell scored runs at a quick pace. Both completed their 50s and NZ declared their innings at 180-5
Chasing a huge target of 373 runs, no one even expected Pakistan to give a fight. More so when they lost both their openers for ducks. But Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam and skipper Rizwan showed great character. Alam even scored his second test century. But the NZ bowlers were patient and finally they got the remaining wickets. New Zealand beat Pakistan by 101 runs.
Man of the Match- Kane Williamson . New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was adjudged man of the match for his brilliant century in the first innings. His captaincy was also over the top throughout the match.