Debutant Ajaz Patel took a five-wicket-haul in the fourth innings to bowl out Pakistan on 171, just four runs short of the target.
Azhar Ali – 63 – was the last man to fall for Pakistan on the fourth day of the match as New Zealand took all ten wickets today to secure a memorable win.
At one stage, Pakistan was well placed, requiring just 29 runs with six wickets in hand. Babar Azam’s (13) run-out inflicted the collapse which saw the next four wickets going down for only 17 runs.
Abbas and Azhar battled for eight overs to score another eight runs before Azhar Ali was trapped before the wicket on Patel’s sharp-turning delivery. During those eight overs, Azhar Ali made some odd decisions like avoiding easy doubles fearing that he won’t make it back for the second.
It was also odd that none of the Pakistani batsmen, who were looking to attack, tried to play with the spin or straight down the ground. Bilal Asif’s dismissal was one such oddity.
This was the closest victory in terms of runs for New Zealand’s Test side and so was the case for Pakistan, as the four-run margin was the smallest for them in a Test defeat.
With this victory, New Zealand has gone one up in the three-match series.
On Sunday, Hasan Ali and Yasir Shah’s five wickets apiece bowled out New Zealand for 249 runs, setting up a target of 176 runs for the Green Caps. Prior to that, Nicholls and Watling made a 100-run partnership which ensured NZ put up a decent target. During that partnership, Pakistan missed out on an LBW review which could have broken the partnership before it reached the 50-run milestone. A ball had struck the batsman’s forearm plumb in front but the bowler mistook it for the glove and avoided a review.
Earlier, New Zealand opted to bat in after winning the toss and were rolled up for just 153 runs in the first innings.
No batsmen other than Williamson (63) could resist the Pakistan bowling attack.
Despite the first innings failure, the Black Caps bounced back strongly to book Pakistan for just 227 runs.
Babar Azam’s 63 and Asad Shafiq’s 42 were the highlights of their innings.
Ajaz Patel, who bagged seven wickets in the match, was chosen Man of the Match.