CHRISTCHURCH: Towering paceman Kyle Jamieson completed an 11-wicket match haul yesterday as New Zealand (NZ) thrashed Pakistan in the second Test to become the world’s top-ranked team. Jamieson was near unplayable in Pakistan’s second innings, finishing with six for 48 after his five for 69 in the first innings, to give New Zealand victory by an innings and 176 runs. The win inside four days in Christchurch, which completed a 2-0 series sweep, also confirmed New Zealand had overtaken Australia to be the world’s number one Test side for the first time.
“It’s hard to beat really,” said victorious captain Kane Williamson, whose double century set up the win. New Zealand batted Pakistan out of contention with a first innings 659 for six, with Williamson’s masterful 238 supported by Henry Nicholls (157) and Daryl Mitchell (102 not out). But there was still a chance Pakistan could force a draw until Jamieson took the ball. “The most impressive thing is his attitude, his ability to run in and hit the wicket hard for long spells,” Williamson said.
In his sixth Test after making his debut against India 10 months ago, Jamieson has taken 36 wickets at a stunning 13.27 average and with four five-wicket hauls to his credit. But he said he’s far from being the finished product. “I’m a long way off the cricketer that I want to be,” he said after his man-of-the match performance. “I’m 12 months into my international career and it’s a long process and hopefully I’ve got another nine-10 years in this group and if that happens I’ve got more to come.”
Pakistan captain Mohammed Rizwan was disappointed with his side’s fielding and multiple dropped catches. But he said their biggest problem was Jamieson. “He’s the only difference between both teams. The conditions were fair to bowlers but the way he bowled he took too many wickets in the series,” Rizwan said. “We need to improve in all departments, especially in fielding. If you drop catches you can’t win a Test match.”
Pakistan resumed the day at eight for one, needing to bat for the better part of two days to salvage a draw, but they were never in the hunt. Trent Boult had nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas out for three in the fifth over and after that the day was mainly about Jamieson, who recorded his best match performance. Although he is the junior member of a pace attack headed by higher-ranked veterans Tim Southee and Boult, the 26-year-old has rapidly advanced to playing a senior role. After Abbas departed, Abid Ali and Azhar Ali looked to be laying the groundwork for a solid third-wicket stand and moved the score to 46 when the 2.3 metre (6ft 8in) Jamieson removed Abid for 26.
After using his height to create extra bounce and force Abid on to the back foot, Jamieson whipped up a fuller delivery and the batsman’s attempt to switch to a drive was sliced to backward point where substitute Will Young took a one-handed, diving catch. In a potent middle session, Jamieson had Haris Sohail and Azhar caught behind, and bowled Rizwan as he moved through his repertoire. Sohail did not get his feet moving as he poked at a rising delivery on 15 and was caught behind.
Azhar attempted to take the fight back to Jamieson, moving into a short delivery and pulling it through mid-on for four as he advanced to 37. But Azhar did not add another run as Jamieson responded with a ball that reared up towards the ribs and it was gloved to the wicketkeeper. Rizwan was bowled for 10 by a full inswinger that zipped between bat and pad. Boult completed the four-wicket session when he dismissed Fawad Alam for 16 and Pakistan were 134 for seven at tea. Jamieson, Boult and Williamson shared the final three wickets. – AFP