PAK vs NZ Live: Live Cricket Match (PAK vs NZ) Today | Live Streaming Link: Live Cricket: Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Day 1 Match Live_Score Link Today
Fresh off their 2-1 T20 series victory, New Zealand’s cricketing schedule against Pakistan switches to the longest format of the game with the first contest of a two-Test series taking place at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui – a venue the visitors have only played one T20 fixture at.
Back-to-back Test wins – both within four days – by innings plus margins, one of which was without captain Kane Williamson (who welcomed a baby girl into his life), highlights how impressive the Kiwis were in their recent demolition job over the West Indies earlier this month – an effort that has seen them move to third in the Test Championship table.
While they rarely get the overall credit they deserve, New Zealand have one of the most dominant home Test records in recent years having lost just three of their last 31 contests (W23, L3, D5), which includes winning their last seven straight series.
Not only has the bowling department been key by consistently taking 20 wickets, but 19 of those 23 wins saw at least one Kiwi batsman go on to make triple figures, with Williamson responsible for ten of those.
The other goal on the horizon for the Black Caps is next June’s Test Championship Final at Lord’s. If New Zealand can produce another series clean sweep, their spot in that decider will be all but assured.
Pakistan enter this match having played just the solitary series since Covid-19, their tour of England which resulted in a 1-0 loss. Though in fairness, the Men in Green were definitely the happier of the two teams regarding the arrival of rain during the third Test, when forced to follow on and still 123 runs behind England’s first innings with just six wickets in hand.
As is the norm when it comes to Pakistan, a lot of attention gets put on Babar Azam and his Test average of 45.44.
But with Azam out injured, Shan Masood’s wicket becomes even more important with the left-hander having registered three centuries from his last seven innings. That’s not bad considering he only achieved one 100-plus score from his previous 36 attempts.
Since early 2018, Test cricket on the road has not been kind to Pakistan as they’ve failed to win a single Test (L7, D2), with three of those defeats by more than an innings.
Players to watch:
Henry Nicholls (NZ) has scored 1,928 Test runs and needs 72 more to reach the 2,000 milestone. Should he get two at bats, his average of 41.91 gives him a big chance of getting there. Meanwhile, Shaheen Afridi (PAK) has a brilliant
Test bowling average of 21.38 when playing on home soil, but when plying his trade on the road, that averages increases to 37.23.
From 31 H2H Tests in New Zealand, there have been 14 draws.
Yasir Shah has never gone a Test match without bowling a maiden.
Since 2010, Pakistan’s highest innings score in New Zealand has been 376 from eight innings.
New Zealand have not lost a home Test since March 2017 (W11, D4).
Join our commentary team on match day for live ball-by-ball action!
Referee: Crowe J. (Nzl),
Venue: Bay Oval (Mount Maunganui)