On their fifth tour of Pakistan the New Zealanders arrived with high hopes of giving Pakistan a hard fight in the three-match Test series. Instead they lost the first two Tests by wide margins. The final Test at Karachi was drawn, though New Zealand came near to winning it through some fine bowling by their orthodox left-arm spinner Stephen Boock, who took seventeen wickets in the three Test matches. The tourists also lost the one-day international series one-three, having shared their two-match series in Sri Lanka en route to Pakistan. Their two first-class games, against the BCCP Patron's XI and the Punjab Governor's XI, ended in draws.
New Zealand were weakened by the absence of Richard Hadlee and Geoff Howarth, who were unavailable for the tour. Without Hadlee their opening attack appeared unimpressive, though the newcomer, Derek Stirling, was the find of the tour. He improved fast and at times seemed very lively even on docile wickets. John Reid was the most difficult batsman for the Pakistani bowlers to dislodge, and the experienced John Wright played a fine innings of 107 in Karachi, which nearly won the Test there for New Zealand. Martin Crowe suffered through lack of concentration and doubtful umpiring decisions.
The tour, which had begun on a cordial note, started, in fact, to turn sour when the New Zealanders were angered by the attitude of the umpires and some of their decisions. Soon after the second Test, at Hyderabad, their captain and manager issued an official and critical statement, and the controversy escalated when the tourists started to walk off the field in the final Test when umpire Shakoor Rana denied them an appeal for a catch at the wicket against Javed Miandad, a century-maker in each innings of the second Test. The game was held up as the fielders gathered near the pavilion and refused to go back to resume play. It required persuasion from other senior members of the touring team to persuade the captain, Jeremy Coney, to let the game continue. An enquiry committee, set up to look into the complaints made by the tourists, found that four decisions against them and two against the home team were questionable. The committee was headed by Pakistan's former captain, Hanif Mohammad.
The star of the Test series was the left-arm spinner, Iqbal Qasim, who had missed Pakistan's previous thirteen Test matches and now finished with eighteen wickets in the series at an average of 22.11.
Test matches - Played 3: Lost 2, Drawn 1.
First-class matches - Played 5: Lost 2, Drawn 3.
Losses - Pakistan (2).
Draws - Pakistan, BCCP Patron's XI, Punjab Governor's XI.
Non first-class matches - Played 7: Won 2, Lost 5.
Wins - Sri Lanka, Pakistan. Losses - Sri Lanka, Pakistan (3), Pakistan XI.
Match reports for
Match reports for