Kyle Jamieson’s maiden Test 10-fer topped off New Zealand thumping series sweep, beating Pakistan by an innings and 176 runs shortly after Tea on Day 4 in Christchurch to book their No.1 ranking.
With six sessions to go in the game, Pakistan started the day needing 354 to make New Zealand even bat again. However, they succumbed against Jamieson’s disciplined bowling for the second time in the contest as the pacer registered the best bowling figures at the Hagley Oval with his 11 for 117. From the overnight 8/1, Pakistan quickly hurtled to 186 all out, failing to even put up a fight that was characteristic of their 297 in the first innings after being put in to bat on a green top.
It took Trent Boult only moments to get past Pakistan’s nightwatchman on the fourth morning. Unfortunately for them, Mohammad Abbas burnt a review unnecessarily despite having clearly nicked it to give the first of the four catches on Wednesday to BJ Watling behind the stumps. And then, much like in the first innings, Azhar Ali and Abid Ali went on a repair mission which briefly revived Pakistan’s fainting hopes. There weren’t a lot of runs scored, but with the ball doing enough to keep the batsmen on their toes, even survival was going to be enough. And survive they did, for about an hour.
Much like in his 93-run knock on the opening day, Azhar showed good judgement in tackling the likes of Tim Southee and Boult but it was Jamieson who proved very difficult to put away. He got the ball to rise awkwardly, testing both Abid Ali and Azhar’s resolve. Of the eight overs he sent down, Jamieson had recorded five maidens.
Consumed by that pressure of having not scored a run in the last 19 deliveries, Abid made the mistake of driving a fuller length ball away from him without properly getting in shape for a front foot drive. The ball flew to the vacant backward point where, out of nowhere, the diving right hand of substitute fielder Will Young converted that half chance into a second wicket of the innings for Jamieson, ending Abid’s knock after a 77-ball 26.
Haris Sohail looked good for two beautiful off-drives he hit to register his best score of the series. But even as he managed to see through the rest of the morning, with a solid looking Azhar for company at the other end, his wretched tour came to an end shortly after Lunch. It was, indeed, in the half an hour after Lunch that Jamieson effectively ended all of Pakistan’s hopes of even pushing this to the final day of the game. He got Sohail edging behind, poking unnecessarily at an away going delivery right after the break, and then put an end to Azhar’s gritty knock on 37 with a sharp, short ball aimed at his ribs. Fresh off a 93 in the first innings, the Pakistan No. 3 looked to fend it off but instead gloved it to Watling to walk back for 37.
After momentarily showing signs of his typically aggressive approach – driving an overpitched and pulling a short pitched one from Jamieson for a couple of boundaries – Mohammad Rizwan handed Jamieson his second five-wicket haul of the game and career’s first 10-fer. The Pakistan skipper was bowled through the gate with an inswinger that knocked off the top of his offstump as Pakistan lost their sixth wicket before touching the triple-figure mark.
Fawad Alam offered some resistance, holding one end up for over half an hour amidst the short ball barrage, only to ultimately poke at a delivery he should have let go from Boult. Arshaf became Jamieson’s 11th victim in the game, driving a length ball away from the body to send a regulation catch the keeper’s way.
It was only a matter of time from there on but debutant Zafar Gohar again made an impression with the bat, top scoring a 37 lower down the order before a wild slog from him fell straight into the hands of the long leg fielder. Jamieson’s fifer had already hastened the evitable, but eventually it got so easy for the hosts that even skipper Kane Williamson decided to roll his arm and even fetched a wicket for himself after a gap of five years as New Zealand ended their ‘perfect summer’ having given themselves the best shot at the Test Championship finale.
Brief scores: Pakistan 297 (Azhar Ali 93, Mohammad Rizwan 61; Kyle Jamieson 5-69) and 186 (Zafar Gohar 37, Azhar Ali 37; Kyle Jamieson 6-48, Trent Boult 3-43) lost to New Zealand 659/6 decl (Kane Williamson 238, Henry Nicholls 157, Daryl Mitchell 102*; Mohammad Abbas 2-98) by an innings and 176 runs.