What an extraordinary test match that was. Played in the silent shadow of the passing of Phillip Hughes it was a test of how players cope in adversity.
When New Zealand lost the toss and watched Pakistan pile up 281/3 on the first day it looked as if we were going to experience a repeat of the first test. Then came the news about Hughes, an emergency Rest Day, and the match was turned on its head.
Mark Craig is unlikely to repeat figures like that in a test match yet there were no celebrations. The New Zealand players were clearly dazed and distracted, but they were clinical in their bowling and fielding. Perhaps this playing in silence approach should be tried again.
It was McCullum’s onslaught that was to follow is what really changed the match however. This was a premeditated, emotional, almost angry statement. It set the tone for the innings, and Williamson followed suit. The run rate hovered around 5RPO throughout, and the cameos from Southee and Craig at the end ensured the psychological damage was complete.
Trent Boult then made his tour worthwhile by ripping the top off the Pakistani innings, and a win with a day to spare became increasingly inevitable. The players said they felt numb at the end of it.
But in years to come they will look back on this with a lot of pride. This was a win away from home against Pakistan for only the third time, and a shared series was beyond everyone’s expectations, especially considering what happened to Australia a month ago.
Right. #Statchat time, and there is quite a lot of it
The 690 was New Zealand’s highest test score beating the record of 680/8 set way back in …. February.
When NZ set its then highest test total (671/4) in 1991 it took 220.3 overs. This 690 took 143.1 overs.
In 1972 New Zealand scored 543/3 to become the highest innings total at the time. That innings took 268 overs.
The 297 run partnership for the second wicket was a New Zealand record.
JR Reid’s 871 runs in a calendar year had stood as a New Zealand record since 1965.
McCullum now has 969 runs in a calendar year. 728 of those have been in three innings. During the year he has not posted a score between 45 and 202.
He became the fourth player, and first non-Australian, to score three double centuries in a calendar year.
His was the fastest Test century for NZ (78 balls), and the second fastest double century
He has hit 22 sixes in test cricket in 2014.
This was the first time six New Zealand players have scored 50 or more in a test innings. It was also the first time that three players scored exactly 50.
There were 22 sixes in New Zealand’s innings, which is a world record beating the previous record of 17 with ease. They were scored by seven different batsmen which equals the world record.
There have now been 13 test centuries in 2014, which is a record.
Kane Williamson has scored four of them; a record for a New Zealand batsman in a calendar year
Taylor became the second New Zealand after Fleming to claim 100 test catches. To put that into perspective, this was Taylor’s 60th test. Bobby Simpson achieved the feat in his 54th, Fleming in his 68th, the Chappell brothers both reached the mark in their 69th.
Mark Craig became the third spin bowler (Boock and Vettori) to take seven wickets in and innings, and the third (Bracewell and Vettori) to take 10 wickets in a match.