There was a lot of that throughout this test. New Zealand was full of nerves in the first session and found themselves 39/3 after 21 fidgety overs having won the toss.
From then on they were behind in the match; every time they clawed themselves back to parity there were momentum shifts like losing their last 7 wickets for 42 in the first innings and 6 for 29 in the second.
At the start of play yesterday Pakistan needed 139 runs with all second innings wickets in hand and it appeared to be set up for a reasonably routine win. But the pitch had always offered something and those small chases can sometimes be a bit nervy.
While it was wicketless, the first over of the day set the scene for what was to follow. Three times (or was it four?) Ajaz Patel got inward drift before ripping it past the outside edge of Mohammad Hafeez’s bat.
Seeds of doubt sewn, demons released.
Five overs later Pakistan was three down; the highlight being Haris Sohail gently chipping a full toss back to Sodhi. Game on.
But Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are experienced batsmen and they looked to knock the bowlers, particularly Sodhi, off their stride.
As has so often been the case in recent years when things are tough New Zealand turns to Wagner, and Wagner turns to short pitched bowling. After he surprised Shafiq with a length ball the jitters re-emerged.
In the first innings Pakistan had lost their last 6 wickets for 53, but people didn’t seem to notice that. So once they got to 4 down just before lunch there was hope, even though the feeling that the target was about 30 runs light remained.
After lunch it was a masterclass of applying pressure from Patel, Wagner and Williamson. This was a breakthrough performance from the captain as he had the nerve to not change the bowling combination while constantly and deliberately tinkering with his field.
The tinkering was not so much about plugging holes as playing with the minds of the tail enders. They were nervous, so Williamson just dragged the whole thing out. And it helped Wagner put in his shift of 13 overs.
That is how nice guys go about mental disintegration.
Panic set in; Babar Azam was run out in comical fashion and New Zealand rarely used a review well, noticing that Safraz had got the finest of touches on his glove. 154/6 and the tail was exposed at one end.
Another maiden from Wagner meant the tail was exposed to Patel and Bilal Asif obliged with a brainless heave and it was 154/7. One run later and Wagner had winkled out Yasir Shah. 21 needed with 2 wickets in hand.
Hasan Ali, he of the bomb explosion inspired wicket celebration, seems to have a bit too much of the macho thing going on. While Azhar was picking up the runs at the other end he thought trying to hoik Patel out of the park on the last ball of an over was a good idea. 12 runs were required from the last partnership.
Azhar then started farming the strike as they inched towards the target in singles. He faced 36 balls compared with 10 to Abbas.
In the end Patel got one through and got the final wicket via an umpire’s call. It doesn’t get any closer than that.
New Zealand won by 4 runs, and the hero was a debutant who many thought wouldn’t play in this test.