About the Match
Pakistan would not have expected the thrashing they received in the first test after coming from the highs to UAE series against England. They are yet again expected to be greeted with a green top in Hamilton as they face New Zealand on November 25th at 3:30am GMT. Pakistan have not had any time to adapt to the conditions and as the first test didn’t last for long, they would be hoping for a pitch unlike what it was in Christchurch. New Zealand, on the other hand, enjoyed the home conditions after they suffered humiliating series defeat in India. Pakistan would be eyeing a win in not-so-familiar to level the series and hosts will be looking to just see the things repeat themselves. Regardless, it is expected to be a cracker of a contest.
Although New Zealand managed to register a win in their first game, they were far from being flawless. Their modest score of 200 in the first innings speaks a lot about things which went wrong. New Zealand will take Jeet Raval’s contribution as a big positive as he scored a brilliant half-century in the testing conditions.
Their bowling appeared flawless in both innings as Colin de Grandhomme wreaked havoc on the tourists’ batsmen. In the second innings, all the bowlers contributed with Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Neil Wagner picking 3 wickets each. Grandhomme contributed with a wicket in this innings as well.
All in all, New Zealand have a finely balanced team with experienced quicks and batsmen who are capable of scoring on green surfaces. It has always been difficult for visitors in New Zealand and it is expected to be nothing different this time too.
Unlike what it was like in UAE, Pakistan’s batting failed and failed badly in both the innings of the test. They were folded for meagre scored of 133 and 121 in the first and second innings respectively. None of their batsmen looked at ease against Kiwi quicks on green tracks. They’d have to bat out of their skins in the second test considering the expected overcast conditions and green carpet.
Their bowlers, however, did reasonably well in the first innings as they picked up all Kiwi wickets for just a couple of hundred runs. Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan and Mohammad Amir picked up 4, 3 and 3 wickets respectively with Yasir Shah unable to pick anything in seamer friendly conditions. They weren’t as good as they were in the first innings as they picked up only a couple while defending the total of 108.
Pakistan will have a job cut out when they come out on the field in the second test. Their bowlers will have to make use of the conditions while the batsmen will have to battle it out and if they are able to do it successfully, it won’t be surprising if they appear to dent the hopes of New Zealand white washing the series.
With Overcast conditions and green track, one thing is for certain: bowlers are going to enjoy bowling in Hamilton and both the teams are having an array of quick bowlers. Batting is going to be difficult and the team with better batting performance over the course of five days will most probably emerge as the better side. Kiwi batsmen did reasonably well despite failure of Williamson and Taylor in the first innings. Williamson looked good in the second innings and so did a couple of other batsmen. With home conditions, batting getting back to form and superb bowling, the hosts go in as firm favorites to win the second test and wrap up the series on a high