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Toss: New Zealand. Test debut: M.N. Hart.
Pakistan produced the only authoritative team batting display of the series to take a decisive 2-0 lead, while New Zealand went down to their fourth successive Test defeat and their third by an innings. Compared with Auckland, this was a truer, harder pitch, prepared by the retiring groundsman Wes Armstrong. In 22 years working on the Basin reserve, he had never seen the home country lose a Test there. Now he did, and they made a real job of it.
Rutherford chose to bat on a hot morning, while the Pakistani pace bowlers could use the initial life in the pitch. He did nothing to justify the decision himself - falling cheaply when he failed to move his feet towards the ball outside off-stump - and neither did most of his fellow batsmen. After Wasim Akram removed Young in the first over, the rest of the early damage was done by a third seamer, Atu-ur-Rehman. Jones reached an earnest 43 in 168 minutes, Greatbatch a fortunate 45 from 56 balls and nobody else made 20.
Pakistan lost Aamir Sohail that evening, but then took full advantage of the conditions. On the second morning, the left-hander Saeed Anwar had what appeared to be an inside edge off Doull caught by Blain before adding to his overnight 30, but Dickie Bird spared him and he proceeded to 169 - his maiden Test century in his third Test, after a pair on debut. Saeed played some sumptous off-side drives in an elegant five-hour innings. He offered only one more real chance, to Blain, who also missed stumping Basit Ali in Hart's second over. That was another costly escape: Basit made a brutal 85, in a style taken up by Inzaman-ul-Haq in the last session. During the second day, Pakistan added 363 for three wickets, including the night-watchman for a duck. On Saturday, Inzaman and Salim Malik also completed centuries and carried their fifth-wicket stand to 258. Hart, the 21-year-old slow left-armer was the most economical bowler, conceding 3.25 an over, and took his first Test wicket when he caught and bowled Salim Malik, who immediately declared on 548, 373 ahead.
In a typically shaky start for New Zealand, both openers were dismissed by the fast bowlers as the second-innings total reached six. They recovered, but it was already too late to change the result. Jones developed his consistent form in a 114-run stand with Rutherford, who played numerous thrilling shots without ever looking likely to remain. New Zealand's top score of the match came from Blain, whose batting was holding up better than his wicket-keeping and brought him 78, his highest innings in tests. But what was needed and the batsmen failed to provide was a pair of big centuries, ground out if necessary.
In conditions far from favourable for him, Wasim Akram improved on his best Test figures for the second game running, with seven for 119. This time he was not terrifying or suddenly devastating, but persevering and continually testing; he collected his 20th wicket of the series and his second match award.