They were set 369 (98 overs) to win on a pitch that had troubled batsmen throughout, but was probably at its best on Day Five, that was really more like Day Three or Four.
New Zealand did not need to win this test; the onus was on the visitors, even though every single stat (New Zealand, fourth innings, Pakistan and Hamiltion) was against them.
So there was the feeling that Pakistan had more than an eye on what might be, and how they should go about it. They decided, and at the time it was accepted to be the correct approach, that they should bat out the first part of the day losing as few wickets as possible, and turn it into a 40 Over game starting just before tea.
They got to tea at 158/1 off 67.1 overs. Imagine New Zealand, or most other countries as it happens, managing that.
Then the mixed messages took over. The plan had merit; the reduced game with all wickets in hand, but test cricket is not white ball cricket. Suddenly the openers were heaving it at everything.
Remember that the much famed 1992 World Cup Semi-final run chase was also full of mixed messages; albeit with some in form senior players guiding it.
Mitch Santner will never again get chop-on bowled dismissal like that in succession again.
Sami Aslam, on a career high 91, took one for the team in chipping Southee to mid-off.
Inevitably , there was a run out. Safraz Ahmed, promoted and looking dangerous, remembered that traditional means of dismissal.
While all this madcap, premature, run chase was going on, Younis Khan on his 41st birthday was having none of it. He’d had a miserable tour so he was playing himself in. 11 off 44 in fact while it was a run-a-ball at the other end. Then he was out LBW shouldering arms. Another box ticked.
In hindsight a more balanced approach throughout those overs with the first ball; rather than the block or bash only option might have been the more sensible option. If only Misbah was there to help sort it out.
But once the second new ball arrived, the clouds came in, and the pitch took on a whole new personality, there was only one outcome. Medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme got one to spit from a full length that Watling was at full strength to gather. It was a different game.
Australia (many times), New Zealand and England have all lost 8 or more wickets in a session over the last few months. If you suggest this should be viewed with suspicion then go to bed, have a glass of water, and get a grip on things.