New Zealand v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Wellington, 5th day January 19, 2011

Flying start and a sleepy finish

Plays of the Day on day five of the Wellington Test between New Zealand and Pakistan

The ominous start to the day
Having been defensive in the field for much of the fourth day and with a 1-0 lead in the series, it was always going to be interesting to see whether Pakistan would play for the draw or attempt to chase down the tantalising 274 on the last day of the Test. Mohammad Hafeez didn't keep the opposition wondering for long. The first ball of the day, a short, wide offering from Chris Martin, was walloped over the slip cordon for four. The openers at least, seemed to have one eye on the a 2-0 series victory.

Aggressive burst of the day
The New Zealand seamers too, came out firing on all cylinders as they attempted to make inroads into the Pakistan top order. Chris Martin began the morning with a heated debate with Hafeez, but it was Tim Southee who was the more visibly fired up new-ball bowler. His second over of the day began with two trips to the striker's end, as he stared Hafeez down in between red-faced remarks. He then hurled the ball at the stumps having fielded it in his follow through, only to hit Hafeez in the back of the leg - much to the batsman's chagrin. Southee finished the over with another long stroll to the opposite end as his teammates closed in around him to add a few words of their own.

Tortuous over of the day
Younis Khan made an excellent 81 on a day five pitch, but before he was set he underwent an agonising examination at the hands of Daniel Vettori. Vettori began his fourth over with an arm ball that struck Younis in line with off stump and seemed to be headed for middle and off, but despite the massive appeal, the batsman survived. The next delivery leapt up to take Younis' glove, but lobbed just over silly mid-off and three unconvincing defensive strokes later, Younis had his third lucky escape of the over, when he edged in between the keeper and slip to collect three runs.

Deja vu of the day
In an almost direct parallel to day three, Younis Khan was dismissed off the last delivery of the afternoon, just when Pakistan seemed to have laid the foundation to launch an attack in the final session. Just as in the first innings, Younis had made an important half-century, and just as in the first innings, he had batted out the entire session in the company of Misbah-ul-haq. He had been caught behind then too, as now, and perhaps the only difference was that this time he was dismissed by Southee, rather than Vettori.

Wake-up call of the day
Having batted out six consecutive maidens just after the tea break, the Pakistan batsmen seemed to be resigned to a draw. They had also put most of the Basin Reserve crowd to sleep. Asad Shafiq though, who had seen out 22 deliveries without getting off the mark, decided to prove he hadn't nodded off himself and danced the pitch to loft Vettori over mid-on for six. The next ball too, was dispatched to the boundary through backward point, adding to Shafiq's stunning infinity percent increase in strike rate. Misbah at the other end though, continue to bat as though he no longer had a pulse.

Attacking field of the day
As the Test was in its final throes, and Pakistan still 48 runs from victory, New Zealand had little to lose by crowding the infield. Martin's final over was bowled with an 8-1 off-side field. Three slips, a gully, a point and three short covers surrounded the batsman, and all eight men were located within fifteen metres of the stumps.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khawaja Saad on January 19, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    It was good to see Pakistan coming out with approach to win the match, and although taufeeq fell in 2nd over, azhar and hafeez continued to attack but due to good bowling from Kiwis, they lost three wickets and i think that forced Pakistan to look for a draw. I think they would have attacked in third session if Younis had not fallen on last ball before tea. Anyways it was a great cricket test match.

  • khurram on January 19, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    wel some people cpmlaining about pak drawing. after losing 3 for 42 in 12 overs & knowing only younis & misbah left as asad is in 4th inings and adnan cant bat longer. there was no chance to win. the only poor show from pakistan was on 4th day 1st session when droping catches not bowling good.sometime things are not that simple from outside.3rd test 5th day ind vs SA indian having a strong batting lineup only made less than 150 in 80 overs. & i say they did well to draw 1st series in SA.

  • ABDUL ALEEM on January 19, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    @Sat Matharu " Pak need to adopt Bhaji's fearless attitude to win if they are to achieve anything"....??????.well that is a joke....

    so you think bhajji is a batsman...oh yes that is true...he can only take wickets when either batsman makes a mistake.... and lastly just check record....india has won only once in 20 years in NZ and Pak has won 8 times during same it does not matter if it was 2-0 or 1-0...a series win was more important than to please the crowd....... why teams should play for corwd pleasing....????? Cricket is after all about winning and losing....not for pleasing crowd all the time....

    if that is so then test cricket will change into T20 and players like Dravid Chanderpaul will be thrown out of test well done Pak and well done on winning the series..........

  • Ryo on January 19, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    @Sat Matharu: "They really need to adopt Bhaji's fearless attitude to win if they are to achieve anything". You mean throw their bat around like a mad man? No they have Afridi for that, and thankfully he only plays limited overs cricket nowadays. And just for the record they did achieve something, a series victory, but alas people like you will never give them the credit when it's due.

  • awais on January 19, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    @ AndyZaltzmannsHair... dude wat kinda silly shots do u need to play when u need only 3 an over? yeah pak was 42/3 at one stage but it doesnt mean u can never think of another result.its a five day match n situation changes and u play according to that. after 42/3 it was 150/3 at one stage, two set batsmen on wicket, nz ran out of options , they were tired, ball was old, no nz bowler presenting any threat then why couldnt they try? just keep scoring 3 an over and vettori will b forced to spread his field and then even if u lob a shot in air its a good chance it will fall safe.that is the job of a captain to tell his team that we achieved one goal now lets push for another, if u tell ur team that we have done enough u r not sending out a good message to ur 150/3 misbah could hold one end n let younis n asad play their natural game, nothing T20 or even ODI material was ever needed.any odd ball can get a batsman out in nz, so y not score while u r on wicket?

  • Steve on January 19, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Fair result give all that's been going on with Pak cricket of late. I hope they can play with more positive intent in ODIs now that the WC spots suspense is over. They should play all the players from WC squad to come up with best 11 for the tournament.

  • Rishi on January 19, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    This test match reminded me one of the recently played IND vs SA (3rd Mtach) at Cape Town, SA. Only PAK was playing 4th inning instead of IND. Novice, Asad Shafiq (of # 6 Team) was much faster in making run (24 runs of 85 B) than veteran SR Tendulakr (of #1 team) who made first 3 runs (4th inning of IND vs SA, 3rd Match Cape Town) in 69 balls and remained not out at 14 after facing 91 balls. The bottom line is sometime a team has to paly defensively in order to win. But certainly I would have expected much more positive play, by taking risk, from #1 team rather than accusing other teams. Needless to say: I think Team PAK is doing well considering that they are playing all the time on foreign soils.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    It's really disappointing that Pakistan didn't go for a win. Apparently we watch a match for a result when result is possible. Misbah and company should have taken some calculated risk. At least in last 10/15 overs. Pakistan had a very good tail to survive these many overs, had we even lost couple of wickets chasing the target in last session. My 5 days got wasted due to a -ve mindset of Misbah and Waqar. What they were trying to achieve from a weaker NZ side and from a 2 test match series? Pakistan was not going to loose the series anyhow. Had we won it, it would have lifted the spirits of the team before world cup.

  • sameera on January 19, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    I agree with AndyZaltzmannsHair that there are hardly any teams that have the same ability to regenerate so quickly as Pakistani team does.Also people who think Misbah should have gone for win are probably forgetting that at a stage when they were 43/3 it seemed all over.Had Younis survived into last session it would have been a totaly different story. The fact that Misbah,the captain, has scored 6 consecutive fifties (3 of them not out) so far(an average of >111 as a captain and better than Bradman as a captain about 104) with all of these admist batting crises shows the class of man who was not given a chance for almost a decade. Reminiscent of the fightbaks by Miandad and Imran Khan.Leaders create crises (e.g,Ejaz Butt) and crises create leaders (e.g,Misbah);when the going gets tough its the tough one who gets going.This team is not world beater at present but it has the potential.Imagine if Misbah had class of Amer and asif at his disposal.Keep feet on ground,its only a begining.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    reading these comments i find that many ppl are ridiculing misbah for his negative approach...if he had to attack and throw his wicket away then what would you have said??captain irresponsible???under the circumstances with pakistan winning the series already and having a history of crumbling when under pressure, i think misbah did the right thing and closed up shop early...infact misbah is a good candidate to lead pakistan in wc...maybe the timing of changing a captain not soo good but mayb afridi will be relieved of burden of captaincy and potentially would do better as a batsmen n bowler..asad shafiq is a test player and should not have been picked ahead of moyo

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