Expectations of a seamers' pitch persuaded both sides to go into the match without a spin bowler. Brendon Bracewell was recalled by New Zealand after five years without a Test. Pakistan struggled to 76 for one at lunch - Howarth won the toss for the third successive time - and lost Mohsin only through bad calling. Miandad and Omar batted beautifully while adding 141, with Miandad, at 27 years of age, becoming the youngest player ever to reach 5,000 Test runs, and Pakistan seemed on course for a big total; but for no good reason they lost five wickets for 10 runs in the last half-hour of the opening day.
New Zealand in turn suffered a collapse in the awkward conditions, only Martin Crowe looking capable of significant progress. His attacking strokes were strong and sweetly timed, and he waited for his opportunities with a welcome maturity. Of the Pakistan bowlers, Wasim Akram made a very good impression. His line was good, his energy unbounded, and he moved the ball readily off the seam.
In Pakistan's second innings Omar again played with distinction, and when the last pair, Rashid Khan and Akram, scored 42 together New Zealand were left to make 278 to win. The bounce was unreliable, there was considerable sideways movement from the seamers, and when Akram wrecked the top of the order New Zealand were a sorry 23 for four wickets. Martin Crowe and Coney - so often at his best in a crisis - fought through to 114 by the close of play, then batted patiently and proficiently on the last morning. Crowe was out shortly before lunch, his stand with Coney having realised 157 in 229 minutes.
Pakistan prospered again in the early afternoon, taking New Zealand's seventh wicket at 216. Cairns, not wearing a helmet, was then hit on the head by Akram and at 228 Bracewell went, whereupon Chatfield joined Coney. Cairns had declared a willingness to bat again if necessary but he was badly concussed and could barely have walked to the wicket without assistance. In fact he spent three days in hospital. By tea Chatfield, no batsman but with a mixture of determination and good fortune, had helped Coney to take the score to 235. Coney, on 97, was dropped behind off Rashid from the first ball of the final session. He had already been missed by Akram at 37, an easy caught and bowled.
In the last over before tea Akram had received an official warning for over-use of short-pitched balls. Now Pakistan's deep-set fields gave Coney plenty of singles - he had 21 on end at one stage - but Chatfield showed such willingness to take the strike that in their unbroken, match-winning stand of 50 he had 84 balls to Coney's 48. Coney reached his second Test century and Chatfield made his best Test score, his runs being almost outnumbered by his bruises. The excitement was intense as the two Wellington players inched their side to victory.