BOXING DAY TESTS REVIEW

NEWZEALAND Vs PAKISTAN

Who says Test cricket is dead ?  If you have watched the final day of the Newzeland and Pakistan’s Test began on Boxing day at the picturesque ground at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, Newzealand, you would have emphatically said ‘No’.  Such was the intensity of the game.

 “It was a brilliant game,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. “Both teams put their best foot forward and Pakistan were incredibly resilient in that second innings, but the boys kept coming.

“A huge effort by the bowlers to get us across the line.” 

The above statement by the ever smiling Kiwi’s captain succinctly explained the euphoria among his team players .

Courtesy: Sportstar –  Mitchel Satner and other NZ players celebrate the fall of the Last wicket of Pakistan as Newzeland wins the Test.

When Mitchell Santner leaped to his left and held a catch one handed of his own bowling offered by Naseem, , it was hell broke for the Kiwis as all players rushed to Santner.  As the last wicket pair of Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi and  Naseem Shah dodged 8 overs and just 4.3 overs were only left in the match. And the Kiwi players were on the moon for the celebration.  Chasing a target of 373 runs Pakistan were dismissed for 271 runs.  The Kiwis  romped home with 101 runs in the first of the two test series and kept their hopes alive of reaching the World Test championship Final to be played at Lord’s next June.

There were tense moments during the last day as the 5th wicket partnership between the Stand-in Captain Mohamed Rizwan and Fawad Alam were holding up nearly 4 hours of 60 overs in the middle.  And Newzeland’s  bowlers produced a late final session surge to guide their side to a tense 101 runs victory. 

It was the new sensation speedster, the tall and lanky Jamieson who broke the partnership trapped Rizwan for a well made 60 runs and was the turning point.  And then it was the turn of the vociferous Neil Wagner, who was nursing a broken toe bowled his heart out and had the centurion Fawad Alam for 102 runs caught well by the wicket keeper.  Suddenly there was despair by the Pakistani tailenders and were quickly consumed by the kiwi bowlers until the last wicket pair showed grit and determination and panic set in the Newzelanders.  They were at their wits end.  And Santner’s sensational return catch ended Pakistan’s  last wicket pair’s resilience .

OTHER BOXING DAY TRIUMPHS

INDIA  Vs  AUS at MCG

India produced a sensational victory at MCG after a debacle at Adelaide when they were dismissed for it’s lowest test innings score of 36 runs. It is their 4th win at MCG, a record for any visiting team.

It was the brilliant captainship of the cool and composed A. Rahane, who marshalled his resources  ensured astounding success.  He led from the front with a well defined century ably supported by the doughty all rounder Jadeja (57 runs) in a century partnership and Rishab Pant and Vihari after restricting the Aussies with 195 runs and took a lead of 131 runs.  And after dismissing them with 200 runs in their second outing, India romped home with 8 wickets in hand. And the test ended within 4 days.

S.A. Vs SL at CENTURION (S.A.)

The Proteas won the first test at Supersport Park, Centurion (SA) won by a whopping Innings & 45 runs after posting a mammoth 621 runs with the former captain Faf du plesis hatting 199 runs and useful contributions from Dean Elgar (95), Bavuma (71) & Keshav Maharaj (78).  Srilankans elected to bat first posted 396 runs and in the second innings they were dismissed for a paltry 180 runs. 

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