There is something about moustaches in Test cricket that brings out something special in cricketers. In the 2013/14 Ashes, Mitchell Johnson’s ‘Mo’ had such impact that his 37 wickets in the five-Test series allowed Australia to whitewash England 5-0 for the third time.
In 2016, Colin de Grandhomme, sporting a Johnson-like Moustache, created a bit of history of New Zealand on the second day of the first Test against Pakistan at the Hagley Oval. With the first day being washed out due to rain, de Grandhomme stepped up and picked up figures of 15.5-5-41-6 to bowl out Pakistan for a paltry 133.
de Grandhomme’s figures were the best-ever bowling figures by a New Zealand player in Tests, breaking Alexander Moir’s 65-year-old record of 6/155, which he achieved against England at Lancaster Park in Christchurch in 1951.
de Grandhomme’s figures of 6/41 are the second-best by a bowler against Pakistan on debut, with South Africa’s Kyle Abbott taking 7/29 in the Centurion Test in 2013.
The right arm medium pacer, who was born in Zimbabwe and had played one ODI and four T20Is in 2012, exploited the conditions at Hagley Oval brilliantly. He generated good swing both off the wicket and in the air to rip through the Pakistan batting line-up.
He got his first Test wicket in his third over when he bowled Azhar Ali for 15. He then struck twice in two overs by removing Babar Azam for 33 and Pakistan’s top batsman Younis Khan for 2. He continued the good work by removing Asad Shafiq for 16 and wrapped up the tail quickly by getting rid of Sohail Khan (9) and Rahat Ali (0).
Thanks to de Grandhomme’s efforts, New Zealand have a good chance of winning a Test against Pakistan after seven years.