New Zealand further boosted their chances of playing the ICC World Test Championship final as they gained 60 points by defeating Pakistan in the first Test in Hamilton. New Zealand wrapped by a victory by 101 runs on the final day, breaking Pakistan’s valiant defiance. With that, the Kiwis have retained the third position in the ICC World Test Championship points table.
New Zealand managed 431 in the first innings, owing to Kane Williamson’s century and half-centuries from Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, and BJ Watling. Pakistan’s batting struggled in the absence of Babar Azam; however, Faheem Ashraf and stand-in captain Mohammad Rizwan helped them avoid the follow-on. New Zealand batted for the second time to set a daunting target of 372 in the fourth innings.
By the time Pakistan approached the fifth day, they already found themselves at 71-3. While Azhar Ali was the first wicket to fall on the final day, he soaked up 120 deliveries while Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan stitched a partnership of 165 in 388 balls. Unfortunately, even the former’s century and the latter’s half-century were not enough for the tourists to secure a draw. New Zealand’s frontline bowlers in Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, and Mitchell Santner all picked up two wickets each to shape up the win.