ooh, what a finish! He has tossed this one up around off, and Naseem seems to have been caught in two minds about whether to attack this or defend, and ends up playing a drive back towards the bowler. Almost clears Santner, but the bowler times his jump to perfection and plucks this out. Inspired captaincy by Kane Williamson to bring back the spinner when he saw his pace spearheads negotiated comfortably
Late, late drama at the Bay Oval, but the result looked never in doubt once New Zealand had taken charge of this Test match over the first couple of days. Nonetheless, we promised a good fun five days of cricket from this first of the three Boxing Day Test matches, and I think it is safe to assume we have delivered. A very happy new year to all of you who have stayed the distance with us. Stay safe, and observe the revelries keeping in mind social distancing norms and the local laws of wherever you have joined us from. For the moment, this is Debayan Sen, on behalf of scorer Ranjith P and my co-commentator Karthik Krishnaswamy bidding adieu, hoping that you will join us five days' time at the Hagley Oval for the second and final Test match. Goodbye! PS: Test cricket = BEST cricket!
Williamson comes back to speak : "Our focus is on the present. Absolutely, we want to play the World Test Championship final, and we saw it in the final session today, when there was that carrot in mind. But in Tests, you know that it's all about going moment by moment, and that's what you play with. We did make the declaration that if the wicket doesn't deteriorate, it would have given them a chance. They had some positive players at the crease, and some more to come. The WTC means you give yourself a chance to win a game, but also lose it. It gave the viewers that spectacle, with three possible results going into the final session. I think we saw similar characteristics on this wicket when we played against England. We are playing in our country, but on surfaces which are varied. With the wind and the sun, it started to offer a bit more."
Mohammad Rizwan: "Not too disappointed. This is the beauty of Test cricket. As a human being, I believe Almighty Allah gives us rewards for the hard work. New Zealand worked harder than us, and that's why the result was with their team. After the toss, our decision was good, but fielding well is most important when you want to take early wickets. We collapsed in the field and gave away a few too many catches, but Williamson played really well. (On whether they were going for the victory) Yes, the declaration was a good one, but they took early wickets. Again today we wanted to go for the target, but they took early wickets. They have done really well [lately] in Test cricket. I must give special credit to Neil Wagner, for bowling with a fractured toe. We lost this match, but we are still in the series. We played very well in this match, and we need some improvement in our bowling."
Kane Williamson is the man of the match: "They (the bowlers) were outstanding. Kept passing the bat. The conditions were a bit different from what we're used to, but it also brought the spinner into play. Full credit to Pakistan for the way they fought on the last day, and brought the draw into play. We have a number of leaders in the team to bounce a few ideas off and get a different perspective. It's just such a team fighting effort, to get a result this late into the final day. Pakistan were incredibly resillient, but the guys were coming in with the odd ball that kept picking wickets. For us, it's just about adapting to the surface as well as we can. On the green surfaces that we get in New Zealand, you will get the ball moving around a bit. On the first day Pakistan asked a few questions of us, and if things had gone their way, they might have had us in a more difficult position. In the second innings, you saw a bit of agricultural stuff from us because we were looking to score quicker on a difficult surface."
6.37 pm What a Test match! Young Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah did all they could, resisting for nearly eight full overs, before that little lapse from Naseem, and he cannot help but get down on his haunches. Good spirits between the two teams as they walk off. Understated as always from Kane Williamson, as he walks off the Bay Oval with his team. So many heroes in this game, right from Day 1 -- Shaheen Afridi with the new ball burst that day, before Kane Williamson, with some help from Ross Taylor and BJ Watling, worked New Zealand into a position of relative strength. Neil Wagner - what can you say about a guy who soldiers on after suffering a fracture on two of his toes on his right foot, the one that feels the impact of landing every time he runs in to bowl. Pakistan can still look back on a lot of positives -- the fight shown by Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, and the inspirational leadership with the bat by Mohammad Rizwan. Presentations to come soon
fired in quick, and Naseem looks to defend. Strikes his pad, and they have gone for a leg before appeal. Not given, but New Zealand review, as they might as well. There's no bat involved in this, which would have been greater trouble, but the forward stretch was a giveaway. It's umpire's call, which keeps it not out
There's also a backward short leg in place
He'll probably look to set him up for the quicker, flatter one
tossed up, wide outside off, turning away, and he can leave
Santner gets the ball again.Remember, he's the one who got Abbas
Just five overs to watch out now. We are past 6:30 local time, so that will not be a consideration anyway
length, outside off, a bit of late swing back in, but he can leave
slower, around off, and because Shaheen is rooted to the crease, he can watch it through and defend this one
short, and he hangs back to drop it with a dead bat
short, outside off, and he leaves. Does hang his bat out initially, but then takes it away from the rising ball
There's just no swing left, from the look of things. Williamson might have to consider Wagner and/or Jamieson
straighter, on the pads, and he is able to nudge this off his thigh pad towards fine leg
Mayank: "Boult and Southee are certainly one of the best new ball pair. Their Almost identical figures compliment each other. "
length, outside off, angling further away, and he leaves
Pakistan need to survive another six overs
length, outside off from around the wicket, and he can leave this
yorker, and he does well to get a bit of bat on to this. Not a perfect technique, but who cares at this point? Just falls away on the off side, and gets it to squirt wide of forward short leg. They pinch a single to square leg
length, straighter line, but he can get behind the line of this to defend
Ankur: "Who are the concussion sub options for Pakistan?" --- Sohail Khan, for one
wide outside off, and he drops his wrists to let this pass
length, gets nicely behind the line of this to defend
short, and he ducks under this
Liam: "Bring back Wags!!!" --- You just get the feeling he'll still have a role to play in deciding this
yorker, and he jams his bat down in time to keep this out
James: "Watching the ESPN feed, and the physio tending to Afridi is a big lad who looks like he can handle a bat: can we get him in as the concussion sub? "
length, around off, and he defends comfortably
Back over the wicket
dug in a bit short, and he can weave out of the way comfortably
Boult goes around the wicket now
length, around off, and he gets behind the line to defend
touch fuller, wide of off, and almost tempts Afridi into having a go, but he resists and lets this pass