Hamilton - New Zealand took nine wickets in a dramatic final session of
the second Test against Pakistan to win by 130 runs in Hamilton on Tuesday and
clean sweep their series 2-0.
It was New Zealand's first series win over Pakistan since
Pakistan were faced with an imposing 369-run target in their
second innings but set themselves up for a run-a-ball slog when they reached
tea on the final day at 158-1.
The match edged towards a cliff-hanger finish before Tim
Southee removed Pakistan's leading run scorer Sami Aslam for 91.
That started a rapid collapse which saw their last eight
wickets fall for 49 in 20 overs with Neil Wagner taking the last three for no
runs in just six deliveries.
The series win to New Zealand, after a first Test triumph in
Christchurch, means Pakistan fall from second to fourth in the world rankings
while New Zealand remain seventh.
After reaching tea on the final day needing 211 off 204
deliveries, Pakistan could only ponder whether they left their charge too late.
Openers Azhar Ali (58 off 161 deliveries) and Aslam (91 off
238) laid the platform with a record fourth innings opening stand for Pakistan
of 131 but it lasted a time-consuming 60 overs before Azhar was dismissed.
The arrival of Babar Azam to the crease was a signal to lift
the pace but the pitch was still offering support to the bowlers on the fifth
Azhar (58) played on trying to hit leg-spinner Mitchell
Santner out of the ground and Azam (16) went in similar fashion on the fourth
ball after tea.
Aslam, trying to raise the tempo having reached his highest
Test score, mistimed a drive off Tim Southee to give Kane Williamson catching
practice at mid-off.
Sarfraz Ahmed was run out for 19 off 21 and Asad Shafiq did
not get off the mark. Veteran Younis Khan, on his 39th birthday, struggled to
11 before he went lbw to Southee.
Sohail Khan fell to Colin de Grandhomme for eight and Wagner
removed Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Imran Khan all without scoring, leaving
Mohammad Rizwan not out 13.
It was a Test that began with all the early signs in
Pakistan's favour. They won the toss on a lush green surface and celebrated
with a wicket in the first over.
But that bright start faded rapidly and in the end not even
the loss of more than four sessions to rain could save them.
Reaching 369 would have meant over-taking the record
successful fourth innings chase in New Zealand of 348-5 by the West Indies 47
years ago in Auckland.