Yasir Shah dominates but New Zealand triumph


Pakistan succumbed to a series loss despite dominating the individual tables © AFP

“Fantastic performance to be a part of,” gushed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson after his side’s historic series victory over Pakistan in the UAE. The visiting side pulled off two impressive wins despite being under the pump in the first and third Tests at Dubai, and on the way broke a slew of records. Here are the stats higlights from New Zealand’s 2-1 series win in UAE.

5: The 2-1 win in UAE is New Zealand’s fifth series win in Asia and the first in the sub-continent (apart from Bangladesh) since March 1984 when they won 2-0 in Sri Lanka. The only other time they beat Pakistan in an away series was way back in Pakistan in 1969.

74 The first innings lead of 74 conceded by New Zealand is the joint highest ever they have overcome to win a Test away from home. Incidentally, they also won the first Test of this series by four runs after conceding the same lead. Also, they beat Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2008 after giving way a first innings lead of 74.

6 Instances of Pakistan losing all their second innings wickets on the final fifth day of a Test since January 2016. This is the second time they have lost ten second innings wickets in a day’s play this series after losing ten wickets for 134 runs in 50.4 overs on the fourth day of the first Test.

Runs scored Overs batted Final score Against Venue Season Losing margin
201 70.5 201/10 Eng Edgbaston 2016 141 runs
229 89.1 230/10 NZ Hamilton 2016/17 138 runs
163 53.2 163/10 Aus MCG 2016/17 Inngs & 18 runs
81 34.4 81/10 WI Bridgetown 2017 106 runs
114 47.4 114/10 SL Abu Dhabi 2017 21 runs
156 56.1 156/10 NZ Abu Dhabi 2018/19 123 runs

A series where the numbers didn’t add up

If one casually glances through the aggregate books, you might end up guessing Pakistan ended victorious. Pakistan averaged 28.35 with the bat, scoring five hundreds to New Zealand’s 24.17, which included only two centuries. With the ball, Pakistan bowlers took a wicket every 9.4 overs at a rate of 24.68 runs per wicket in comparison to the visitors who needed 11.5 overs between every strike and averaged 30.50 per wicket. Pakistan bowlers managed five five-wicket hauls among them compared to New Zealand’s one. Pakistan also ended with the highest individual score (147 by Harris Sohail) and best bowling figures (8/41 & 14/184 by Yasir Shah) in the series.

Team Bat Avg 100s HS Wkts Bowl Avg 5-fers Best Avg Diff
Pakistan 28.35 4 147 56 24.67 5 8/41 3.67
New Zealand 24.17 2 139 42 30.5 1 5/59 -6.32

When visiting teams win in the sub-continent, it is often their spinners out bowling their local counterparts. Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar in India in 2012/13 or the English trio of Jack Leach – Moeen Ali – Adil Rashid in Sri Lanka are recent examples. While debutants Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville did create an impression, they were no match to the wily Yasir Shah. As already said, Pakistan had the upper hand in both pace and spin department compared to the visitors, despite a reversal in the final score.


Team Overs Mdns Wkts BBI BBM Avg Econ SR 5-fers
Pakistan 345 64 38 8/41 14/184 23.15 2.55 54.4 4
New Zealand 240.5 33 23 5/59 7/123 29.26 2.79 62.8 1


Team Overs Mdns Wkts BBI BBM Avg Econ SR 5-fers
New Zealand 259.2 73 19 4/54 4/83 32 2.34 81.8 0
Pakistan 199.4 71 18 5/45 7/83 27.88 2.51 66.5 1

Yasir holds his head high among the ruins

29 Wickets taken by Man of the Series Yasir Shah – the most ever by a bowler ending on the losing side in a rubber consisting of three or fewer Tests. The previous most was Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 28 wickets against Australia in 2004. Despite Murali’s stellar efforts, Sri Lanka went down 0-3 in that series.

33 Tests taken by Yasir to reach the milestone of 200 wickets – the fewest by any bowler to the milestone. He went past the 82-year old record held by Clarrie Grimmett who was the first to the milestone in 1936.

5 Man of the Series awards for Yasir Shah – the most by any player since his Test debut in October 2014. R Ashwin is the next best in the list with four such awards.

Other numbers from the win

129 Henry Nicholls’s average in the second innings this series; his scores in the second dig – 55, 77 and 126*. In comparison, his first innings average is a dismal 9.67 in three innings.

2537 Runs scored in Tests in UAE by Azhar Ali – the most by a player in this country. He went past Younis Khan’s tally of 2484 runs during his first innings knock of 134. Azhar averages 53.98 in 27 Tests in UAE with seven three-figure scores.

© Cricbuzz


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