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Pakistan's fourth visit to New Zealand was not without incident. The successes of the home side were almost outnumbered by the comings and goings of the Pakistan players. Pakistan lost a Test in New Zealand for the first time and went down two-nil in the three-match series, a result which reversed that in Pakistan a few weeks earlier. New Zealand also took the four-match one-day international series three-nil. Though lacking in lustre in most respects, Pakistan still made a good effort to square the Test series in the final match at Dunedin.
The touring team were without the talented Imran Khan, reports that he would join them from Australia proving unfounded. After joining the party just before the opening Test, and playing in the first two without success, the leg spinner, Abdul Qadir, was sent home for disciplinary reasons. The only visible expression of discontent was his half-hearted effort to field a ball on the last afternoon of the drawn match against Wellington, whereupon he was ordered from the field by the acting-captain, Zaheer Abbas, who had arrived in time only for the last two Tests. Rashid Khan, a medium-paced bowler, was flown in to take a place in the team for the third Test.
Pakistan must have been disappointed by their performance. The captain, Javed Miandad, hardly surprisingly, failed to maintain the dizzy heights of his previous successes against New Zealand. The batsmen generally tended to go for their runs, more in one-day fashion, rather than grafting for them on slow pitches with variable bounce. The batting success - and a favourite with spectators - was the diminutive Qasim Omar. Despite a limited back-lift, he was extremely strong off the back foot. After making an unbeaten century in the first match of the tour, he went on to a notable double in the low-scoring final Test and finished by topping both Test and tour aggregates and averages.
Other encouraging features for Pakistan were the progress of Azeem Hafeez and the emergence of Wasim Akram, both left-arm seamers. Akram, in only his second Test, took ten wickets, at eighteen the youngest Test player to have achieved this feat. It was a measure of Pakistan's recognition of New Zealand conditions that they went into the last Test without a spinner. But so slowly did Pakistan bowl their overs that they often struggled to reach the modest fourteen an hour required by the playing conditions for the Test matches.
At his best against bowling up to fast-medium in pace, the New Zealand left-hander, John Reid, enjoyed particular success. He scored two centuries and during the series reached 1,000 Test runs in a shorter time than any New Zealander before him - twelve matches and twenty innings. Jeremy Coney and Martin Crowe were both impressive, and Richard Hadlee again stood out with the sustained hostility and accuracy of his bowling.
In what must have been a very trying tour for him, the Pakistan manager, Mr. Yawar Saeed, remained calm and courteous.
Test matches - Played 3: Lost 2, Drawn 1.
First-class matches - Played 5: Won 1, Lost 2, Drawn 2.
Win - Canterbury.
Losses - New Zealand (2).
Draws - New Zealand, Wellington.
Match reports for