In the Media
Boxing Day Test Wrap
The Boxing Day Test at the Bay Oval opened with the Black Caps in early trouble on day one, and ended with Pakistan losing six wickets in the last session on day five, to hand New Zealand a 101 run victory.
Sandwiched between the five days of test match action, was a pendulum of momentum, that saw the Black Caps in control for the majority of the game.
Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor came together in just the tenth over, after New Zealand were in early trouble, losing two wickets with just 13 runs on the board. Taylor received a big welcome to the crease from the large Boxing Day crowd, when it was announced that he had become the most capped Black Cap of all time, with 437 games spread over the three forms of the game.
Williamson and Taylor, weathered the disciplined and accurate Pakistan bowling attack, before Taylor was dismissed with 70 runs alongside his name. Henry Nicholls proved a worthy replacement and at stumps on day one, New Zealand were 223/3, with Williamson on 94 and Nicholls 42 not out.
The majority of the day two action belonged to the Black Cap batsmen, who set the visitors a big first innings target when they were finally removed for 431, late in the day. Kane Williamson was in majestic touch, posting his 23rd test century before being removed for 129. BJ Watling worked hard to post 73 runs, with Nicholls carrying on from his overnight total to finish with a half century. Pakistan were 30 for the loss of one wicket at stumps on day two.
Night watchman Abbas, received a big cheer from his team mates when he scored his solitary one run facing his 37th ball, early on the third day's play. While rain stopped play on a couple of occasions in the afternoon session, the players were also off the field when hail intervened during the afternoon’s play.
Pakistan were bowled out in the last over of the day for 239, to give the hosts a solid 192 run lead. Faheem Ashraf top scored with a hard fought 91 with Mohammad Rizwan posting 71 runs. Kyle Jamieson bowled with real enthusiasm to be rewarded with three wickets for 35 runs, while Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner each took two Pakistan bowling scalps.
A 111 run opening stand, put together by Tom Blundell (64) and Tom Latham (53) put the Black Caps in a strong position, before the batsmen upped the ante with some quick-fire runs. The New Zealand declaration at 180/5, set Pakistan a very big target of 373 runs to win the match.
Pakistan reached 71 for the loss of three wickets at the close of play of the penultimate days play. Two significant Black Cap milestones were reached in the Pakistan second innings, with Tim Southee taking his 300th test wicket and keeper BJ Watling taking 250 test catches.
Pakistan batsmen Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizan, continued to frustrate the Black Caps bowling attack, with a drawn encounter emerging onto the match radar. At tea, the visitors had clawed their way back into the game, with 215 for the loss of four wickets.
Fawad Alam went on to post a century before being dismissed for 102 with Mohammad Rizan removed with 71 runs on the scoreboard. Needing four wickets for victory, the Black Cap bowlers through all but the kitchen sink at the Pakistan tailenders.
With the day's regulation overs ticking over, the home side bowlers made the necessary inroads, with Mitchell Santner grabbing a caught and bowled decision from the umpires to close out the match, for a 101 run New Zealand victory.
Black Cap leader Kane Williamson was adjudged the player of the game.
Bay Oval Boxing Day Test (26-30 December 2020)
New Zealand Black Caps 431 (Kane Williamson 129, BJ Watling 73, Ross Taylor 70, Henry Nicholls 56; Shaheen Afridi 4/109, Yasir Shah 3/113) & 180/5 (Tom Blundell 64, Tom Latham 53; Naseem Shah 3/55)
Pakistan 239 (Faheem Ashraf 91, Mohammad Rizwan 71; Kyle Jamieson 3/35) & 271 (Fawad Alam 102, Mohammad Rizan 60)
Result: New Zealand won by 101 runs