Pakistan nails New Zealand by 248 runs in 1st test
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Misbah-ul-Haq became Pakistan’s most successful test captain with a thumping 248-run victory in the first test against New Zealand which ended Thursday.
The victory lifted Misbah one ahead of former skippers Imran Khan and Javed Miandad’s joint Pakistan record of 14 test victories with a 1-0 lead in the three-match series against the Black Caps.
“It’s a great feeling, especially being part of the winning team,” Misbah said after notching his third successive victory as he routed Australia 2-0 in the preceding test series.
“It’s a young team and nobody expects from them to perform like that against top sides in the world.”
Chasing a 480-run target, New Zealand was left lurching at 174-8 on the fourth day as they failed to cope with either the spinning duo of Yasir Shah (3-74) and Zulfiqar Babar (2-48) or the reverse swing of Imran and Rahat Ali (2-48).
New Zealand’s No.10 Ish Sodhi delayed the inevitable for over an hour on the fifth day and top-scored with a gritty career-best 63 with seven fours and a six.
He shared a 54-run last-wicket stand with Trent Boult before he was out leg before wicket to Imran Khan’s (2-37) inswinger to end the match.
“They (Pakistan) are obviously a dominant team in these conditions and we have really good fight on our hands in the next two games,” New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said.
Pakistan lost only five wickets across two innings to New Zealand’s limited attack, which was playing its first test on the UAE’s slow, turning wickets.
Misbah scored his third successive century, Younis Khan smashed his fourth in five innings and opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad notched a career-best 176 in the first innings before fracturing his skull, ruling him out of the rest of the series.
Mohammad Hafeez, who was under pressure after only 48 runs in the three innings against Australia, responded with knocks of 96 and 101 not out; his first test century in two years.
The only positives for the Black Caps were the form of young opener Tom Latham, who scored a maiden test hundred in the first innings score of 262, and the defiance of Sodhi at the end.
“The young guys have shown great temperament, they have really good head on their shoulders and obviously adapted to the conditions as well, so some positives we can claim,” McCullum said.
“We just lost too many wickets in clumps and that can affect the team’s ability to post big totals in these conditions.”
The second test begins at Dubai next Monday where the wicket is expected to suit Pakistan spinners more, followed by the last test at Sharjah from Nov. 26.