Second Test Match

New Zealand v Pakistan, 2000-01

At Christchurch, March 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Drawn. Toss: Pakistan. Test debut: C. J. Drum.
The First Test may have ended in a dramatic climax, but the Second was a forgettable fizzer, fading to a dawdling draw, in a stadium that was mostly empty throughout. It was the first draw between these countries since a run-fest at Auckland in 1988-89, when 1,118 runs were scored for 18 wickets. This match, played like the First Test on a placid portable pitch that offered precious little to seam or spin bowlers, produced 1,243 runs for 19. At least it gave the New Zealand batsmen a chance to rediscover some form. They had survived the Eden Park disaster unscathed - off-spinner Bradburn and seamer Chris Drum replaced their equivalents, Wiseman and Franklin, in the bowling line-up - while Pakistan strengthened their own batting by bringing back Inzamam-ul-Haq and Ijaz Ahmed. Mushtaq Ahmed's leg-spin gave way to the pace of Fazl-e-Akbar.

Put in, Richardson and Bell completed the century stand they narrowly missed the previous Sunday. Then Sinclair took centre stage, and rekindled expectations often disappointed since his 214 on debut against West Indies 15 months earlier. He made a gritty 204 in 520 minutes and 348 balls, striking 27 fours and reaching his double-hundred with a second six just before losing his final partner seven overs after tea on the second day. Previously, only Glenn Turner had scored two double-centuries for New Zealand. Sinclair's was their highest score against Pakistan, beating Martin Crowe's 174 at Wellington 12 years earlier.

Pakistan gave no indication of forcing the pace. They defended their series lead by batting New Zealand out of the game, establishing a 95-run lead after 14 hours of occupation. Inzamam, back from injury, accepted a life on ten to run up 130, while Yousuf Youhana compiled a maiden first-class double-hundred and, finally, Saqlain Mushtaq added a maiden century. Youhana batted a little longer than Sinclair - 528 minutes - but had considerably more of the strike with 429 balls, from which he hit 27 fours and three sixes. He and Saqlain put on 248 in 95 overs for the seventh wicket; Saqlain batted throughout the fourth day to progress from 20 overnight to 98 not out.

The final day meandered aimlessly like a silent brook. Saqlain took nearly 30 minutes to complete his century - he batted seven hours ten minutes in all - whereupon Pakistan finally declared. New Zealand never looked like repeating their collapse of the First Test and batted out 73 overs to reach 196 for one, with unbeaten fifties for Richardson and man of the match Sinclair. The final session, when Moin Khan had left the field with a bad knee, leaving Inzamam in charge, brought some frivolity with the introduction of occasional bowlers Youhana and Faisal Iqbal, along with the even more occasional off-spin of Waqar Younis. Both sides agreed to come off 40 minutes early.

Man of the Match: M. S. Sinclair.

© John Wisden & Co