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Match reports

New Zealand v Pakistan, 2016-17

Wisden's review of the second Test, New Zealand v Pakistan, 2016-17

At Hamilton, November 25-29, 2016. New Zealand won by 138 runs. Toss: Pakistan. Test debut: Mohammad Rizwan.
The wicket was verdant enough for Pakistan to drop Yasir Shah in favour of seamer Imran Khan. And, after they inserted New Zealand, Mohammad Amir's menacing movement vindicated the decision. Sami Aslam dropped Raval at first slip from the game's third ball, then clung on to remove Latham from the sixth. Yet, after rain shortened the first day to 21 overs, New Zealand scrapped to 271 all out by the second evening. Raval survived an action-replay drop on 40 - Aslam, off Amir - to reach the second 55 of his career, and Watling helped add 152 for the last five wickets.
Pakistan then slumped to 51 for five before the close, as New Zealand's seam attack got stuck in. With Trent Boult rested to nurse a knee niggle, Southee was the senior bowler, and took the first three, finishing with six for 80 on the third day. Babar Azam provided resistance: he hit a personal-best 90 not out, and cobbled together half-century stands with Sarfraz Ahmed, then Sohail Khan, to help Pakistan battle past 200.
Latham stretched the lead with 80, but there was work to do when Taylor came out to bat at 107 for two. He almost missed this Test because of a growth on his left eye, for which he was scheduled to have surgery. But after a terrible run of form - he had averaged less than 15 in India - he passed 50, for the first time in 12 Test innings. And he marched on to his 16th Test century, leaving him one short of his late mentor Martin Crowe's national record. Two balls after the celebrations, Williamson called his men in, setting Pakistan 369 in a day and three overs.
Punditry on talkback radio and website forums surmised that caution had got the better of him; the highest fourth-innings chase in New Zealand was 345 by West Indies in 1968-69. But the pitch had not been subjected to the usual attrition - rain had also curtailed the third day - and now Aslam and stand-in captain Azhar Ali put on 131 in 60 overs, Pakistan's longest fourth-innings opening partnership.
Then the dominoes fell. Santner struck first, securing Azhar and Babar Azam either side of tea. Both drove at balls flighted outside off, both chopped on. After that, Pakistan needed 210 at better than one a ball. A draw appeared the logical outcome but, after showing intent by bumping Sarfraz up to No. 4, they lost wickets at a canter. Aslam bunted Southee to mid-off and ended on a Test-best 91, then Sarfraz was run out by a missile from de Grandhomme at fine leg. The chase looked gone; soon, so did the draw. Asad Shafiq fell for his fifth duck in 13 innings, then Southee - armed with the new ball - trapped Younis Khan lbw on review when he failed to offer a shot.
The last time New Zealand had achieved a series victory over Pakistan was February 14, 1985, at Dunedin, where Jeremy Coney and last man Ewen Chatfield hauled in 278. That afternoon, an Invercargill-bound train stopped for ten minutes, unscheduled, to watch history unfold across the tracks. This time, it was Hamilton, where - under an absconding sun - the crowd were huddling in blankets to ward off the chill of a westerly wind. As the gloom gathered and time grew short, Wagner ended the match with three for none in six balls, the last of them from an instinctive short-leg catch by Latham to remove Imran Khan.
Pakistan had lost nine wickets for 71 after tea, the worst last-session collapse in history. Azhar, who followed Misbah-ul-Haq in being fined for a slow over-rate, offered his excuses. "It's always difficult to make 350-plus in a day," he said. "But once you're 1-0 down, you want to make a result of it."