Neil Wagner put the pain of his fractured toes behind him to help the Black Caps to a thrilling victory over Pakistan late on the last day of the first test at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
Tireless left owner, birthday boy Kyle Jamieson, and left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner took crucial wickets in the final session on Wednesday to help secure a 101-point win with 4.3 overs left that tentatively moved the Black Caps to number one. the ICC standings and kept their hopes of winning the final of the World Testing Championship.
Wagner played 11 in a row after tea, despite breaking two batting toes on day two, while Jamieson played nine in a row at the same time and the two took a pair of wickets as the visitors were quickly went from dreaming of victory to battle – and ultimately fails – to get a draw.
Jamieson finished with 2-35 on his 26th birthday while Wagner finished with 2-55 to help the Black Caps win their fifth test in a row – a task completed by left spinner Mitchell Santner, who took the final two wickets and finished with 2-52.
In 2016 at Seddon Park in Hamilton, the last time they played on these coasts, Pakistan lost nine wickets in the final session of the final day as they crumbled to a loss in a draw. seemed inevitable.
This time, on the other side of the Kaimaïs, there were six, as they went from 240-4 to 271 all out and a marathon partnership of 165 between Fawad Alam, who made 102, and the captain. Mohammad Rizwan, who made 60, proved to no avail.
Four hours of hard transplant by this pair had ensured that the three results were always possible with tea.
Pakistan suffered a blow barely nine bullets in the day, when Trent Boult fired Azhar Ali for 38 with one that took the advantage over goalkeeper BJ Watling, but from there they didn’t lose a another window for 63.2 overs.
By lunch they had gone to 137-4 and when the players took over it was all about the countdown to the new ball, but when Tim Southee and Boult got their hands on it they couldn’t buy. counter.
The Pakistani pair lifted their partnership to 100 runs with 44.1 overs when Alam edged out Boult’s for four, and in tea they were 215-4, requiring 158 runs from 36 overs at a demanded rate of one. little more than four.
Rizwan spoke of his half-century in the first comeback after tea, with 156 balls, while Alam raised his century by 236 balls, allowing Pakistan to start dreaming of their first away win since May 2018.
It was Jamieson who finally made the breakthrough, 11 overs in the 36-over final session, trapping Rizwan LBW on 60 with one who fell back, after reviewing referee Wayne Knights’ initial decision.
Wagner was on and off the pitch throughout the day, dealing with his pair of fractured toes, but in the seventh of his fourth spell, Alam received a bat during a delivery to the side of the leg and was on his way. for 102 while Watling took the capture. and claimed his 250th dismissal test as a wicket keeper.
All thought of chase was well and truly gone by then, with Faheem Ashraf and Yasir Shah at the crease – and the latter didn’t last long before Jamieson got him caught by Southee for a duck.
Wagner struck again in the 10th of his spell, which allowed Faheem to move on to Watling, and as the final hour began after the drinks, the Black Caps had 15 overs to get the final two wickets.
Santner returned at the end of Wagner’s long run and struck with his fourth delivery, trapping Mohammad Abbas LBW for one – a move that survived scrutiny.
He came back again with five overs to go and seven players around the bat and won the final wicket – Naseem Shah caught and played for one – to finish with 2-52 and put his side on top of the world – until at the end of Australia. -Indian series, at least.