Pakistan in New Zealand, 2010-11 January 19, 2011

Pakistan continue their dominance

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
Pakistan won their first series since 2006 and continued to maintain their impressive win-loss record in New Zealand

It may have come as a surprise to many that Pakistan did not try to chase down New Zealand's target of 274, but considering that they last won a series in 2006-07, their safe strategy was probably understandable. Pakistan, though, continued to maintain their excellent stats in New Zealand. Their record of eight wins in 15 matches in New Zealand since 1990 is level with Australia's. Also, Pakistan continued their excellent run in Wellington, where they have not lost a single match since 1990.

For New Zealand, however, this turned out to be yet another opportunity lost to register an elusive series win. They last won a Test series in 2005-06 (matches excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) against West Indies at home. Since then, their only series wins have come against Bangladesh and they have lost three of their last five home series.

The defeat in the first Test was Vettori's 16th as captain. Among the four New Zealand captains who have led the team in at least 20 Tests, his win-loss ratio of 0.37 is better only than John Reid's 0.16.

Teams in New Zealand since 1990
Team Played Won Lost Drawn W-L ratio
Australia 12 8 2 2 4.00
Pakistan 15 8 3 4 2.67
England 12 7 2 3 3.50
South Africa 7 3 1 3 3.00
Sri Lanka 11 2 4 5 0.50
India 11 1 4 6 0.25
West Indies 9 1 4 4 0.25

Pakistan were the more consistent side in both departments. Their bowling was much more lethal as they dismissed New Zealand for 110 in Hamilton and succeeded in bowling out the home team in all four innings. New Zealand, despite performing much better in Wellington, lacked the bowling firepower to bowl out Pakistan twice.

Batting and bowling stats of the two teams
Team Runs scored Batting average 100 50 Wickets taken Bowling average 5WI 10WM
Pakistan 963 38.52 0 9 38 26.63 0 0
New Zealand 979 24.47 1 9 25 38.84 0 0

Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan scored crucial half-centuries to help Pakistan salvage a draw in the second Test. Misbah has revelled in his captaincy role: he has scored six fifties in seven innings since taking over as captain and is just one fifty away from equalling the record of seven consecutive half-centuries.

Younis, on the other hand, improved on his already outstanding fourth-innings record. Among batsmen with over 700 runs in the fourth innings, his average of 59.13 is second only to Don Bradman's 73.40. Only two of his eight fifty-plus scores have come in victories, though.

Top batsmen in the fourth innings in Tests (min qualification 700 runs)
Batsman Matches Runs Average 100 50
Don Bradman 18 734 73.40 3 4
Younis Khan 23 887 59.13 4 4
Geoff Boycott 36 1234 58.76 3 7
Sunil Gavaskar 34 1398 58.25 4 8
Jack Hobbs 26 979 57.58 2 6
Ricky Ponting 51 1362 54.48 4 5

Jesse Ryder had a career average of over 50 coming into this series against Pakistan. But his performance in this series was very poor, as he aggregated just 39 runs in four innings including two first-ball ducks, which resulted in his career average dropping to less than 45.

Despite his troubles with captaincy, Vettori's superb batting form continued. He scored his sixth Test century overall and his fourth as captain. Among New Zealand batsmen who have scored at least 1000 runs as captain, Vettori's average of 39.12 is the fifth highest. His four-wicket haul in the first innings made him only the sixth player to score a century and pick up four wickets in an innings in the same match as captain.