Right now New Zealand is struggling playing Pakistan in conditions most suited to Pakistan. And, to make it worse, Pakistan won the toss.
We need cheering up. So here is a test where we played Pakistan in very New Zealand conditions, and where New Zealand won the toss. And conditions were always in the New Zealand’s favour when playing in Hamilton in the early 2000s.
Pakistan rattled up 28 runs after five overs. After 11 overs they were 38/5. Say what you like about Martin and Tuffey, in the right conditions they were dominant. And this was up against a middle order of Inzama, Yousuf, and Younis. Pakistan made 104; New Zealand was 160 without loss at stumps.
It rained in Hamilton the day after that, except for the bit when NZ added 100 further runs for a couple of wickets. Both openers scored centuries, and that has not happened since.
So there was time to be made up. Enter Craig McMillan in a hurry. He took 26 off a Younis Kahn over before falling two short of a century of his own. And he had Fleming, batting at 6 for the team, to help him along.
The damage had been done; Pakistan could not even made the last day, with the main destroyer being … James Franklin.
New Zealand won the test by an innings and 185 runs having lost only four wickets. In the first test of the same series they lost by 299 runs.
Cricket against Pakistan; a beautiful thing