New Zealand vs Pakistan: WATCH – Mitchell Santner takes stunning catch to break Pakistani hearts on Day 5


New Zealand vs Pakistan: WATCH – Mitchell Santner takes stunning catch to break Pakistani hearts on Day 5
New Zealand players celebrate the win

The first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui went down to the wire before the hosts pulled off a thrilling victory. Earlier, New Zealand had scored 431 in the first innings courtesy a trademark century from skipper Kane Williamson. In reply, Pakistan just about managed to avoid the follow-on after a top order collapse thanks to Faheem Ashraf’s 91.

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New Zealand then declared on 180/5 to set Pakistan a target of 373 with more than a day left in the Test. The visitors seemed down and out having lost three wickets on Day 4 and a whole day’s play on a deteriorating pitch left. However, Fawad Alam scored a patient century to offer Pakistan a glimmer of hope and so did the tail with their dogged resistance. The last wicket pair of Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah held firm for over 7 overs and only had to deal with 28 more deliveries when the latter was sent packing by a stunning return catch from Mitchell Santner.

Mitchell Santner wins it for New Zealand

Mitchell Santner tossed one up to No. 11 batsman Naseem Shah and unsettled by the field, the tail-ender lobbed one to the bowler. However, the shot had enough height on it for everybody to expect it would evade the bowler. The 6-foot tall Santner however, had other ideas. He timed a leap to perfection and stuck out his bowling hand to take the catch and seal victory for his side.

Santner was mobbed by his jubilant teammates and they had every reason to celebrate. With the win, New Zealand reached No. 1 in the ICC Test Rankings for the first time ever in their history. For Pakistan on the other hand, it was despair. After a brave fight, the match ended in heartbreak for them. They can however, hold their heads high and hope to level the two-match series in the second Test at the Hagley Oval.

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