Blackcaps steal win from Pakistan with incredible comeback victory

Vids 20/11/2018


From Newshub's Stephen Foote:

Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson soaked in what he described as one of the greatest wins of his career, after his side stole an unlikely victory in the opening test against Pakistan.

Needing just 139 runs with 10 wickets in hand, Pakistan collapsed at the hands of spinner Ajaz Patel. The debutant snared a five-wicket haul, taking the critical final scalp to ensure his side a four-run win in the most tense of finishes in Abu Dhabi.

"Without a doubt, the best in recent memory, that's for sure," said Williamson.

"We've had a couple that have been very, very close, but certainly over in these conditions, we know how hard it is.

"Pakistan are a very strong side and to go toe-to-toe throughout four days, stay in the match for as long as we did and play that long game, which is so important over here, and come out with the result... it would have to rank up there with one of our best wins."

Williamson praised his team's persistence and never-say-die attitude in the face of a daunting uphill challenge.

"Some of the characteristics that we hold pretty dear is that scrapping attitude and we were able to get back in the game with so many different contributions, whether they were with the bat or in the field.

"We knew we were going to get some assistance from the wicket. I think we saw the nature of how wickets fell throughout this game - they did fall in clumps.

"It was challenging to start as a batsman, so if we were able to keep pressure on, who knows what may happen?

"The fighting attributes of this team really shone through today."

Meanwhile, Patel was still coming to terms with his dream debut performance, after the reformed paceman's five-wicket bag earned him player-of-the-match honours - and all at the advanced age of 30.

"It's still pretty surreal at the moment," said Patel. "I'm sure it'll sink in over the next couple of hours or days.

"I certainly couldn’t have dreamt it to start any better. To be in a position to win your country a game of test cricket - and to do it in that fashion - is quite special."

The Central Districts star said he was undeterred by the lopsided scoreboard at the start of the day's play and simply tried to keep his focus on the next delivery.

"I never really looked at what the score was. I was more focused on trying to bowl the ball in a good area consistently for long periods - it was one ball at a time.

"Like Kane said, we wanted to play that long game and stay in it for as long as possible."

He admitted to some anxious moments, as the decisive wicket was sent to the third umpire for review.

"It was a very nervous time. I was just on my knees, staring up at the screen, hoping that it would fall the right way.

"Once it did, it was an unbelievable feeling - a great rush."

The second test in Dubai begins Saturday.