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Pak sight win after Shoaib runs riot

Pakistan were on the edge of a stunning victory in the second Test against New Zealand after a superb spell of bowling by Shoaib Akhtar.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2003 15:52 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Pakistan were on the edge of a stunning victory in the second cricket Test against New Zealand on Monday after a superb spell of pace bowling by Shoaib Akhtar caused one of New Zealand's worst ever batting collapses.

At stumps on the fourth day Pakistan were 246 for three, needing just 28 more runs to take the match and the series after the first Test was drawn.

They were given the opportunity to go for the win by a magnificent display of swing bowling by Akhtar which saw the last seven New Zealand wickets fall for just eight runs.

Akhtar, the fastest bowler in the world, finished with six for 30 off 18 overs to complete incredible match figures of 11 for 78.

In contrast to New Zealand, Pakistan were comfortable in their run chase with half-centuries to Yasir Hameed (59), and the not out batsmen Yousuf Youhana on 74 and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq on 57.

With the result so close, Inzaman was offered a further eight overs at the end of the day but declined, gambling that forecast rain would not arrive before the final 28 runs were scored on Tuesday.

That Pakistan could have victory in their grasp was a remarkable turnaround after they were humbled in their first innings to be all out for 196 in reply to the Black Caps 366.

New Zealand began Monday at 75 for three in their second innings, an overall lead of 245 runs and confidently looking at building a target of 400.

But after progressing steadily to 95 in the ninth over of the morning, Aktar turned the Black Caps dream into their worst nightmare with a flurry of virtually unplayable inswinging yorkers. The innings ended eight overs later.

The rot started when the stoic Mark Richardson, the rock that New Zealand depends on so often in Test cricket, nicked Akhtar to wicketkeeper Moin Khan on 41.

Scott Styris, in an apparent rush of blood to the head, tried to drive a first ball yorker to the boundary but played on instead.

Craig McMillan just managed to clamp his bat down to survive another yorker on the hattrick ball. But six balls later he went from hero to villain when he had Daryl Tuffey run out at the bowler's end for 13.

Jacob Oram, the first innings hero with a Test-best 97, was trapped lbw by Shabbir Ahmed for three and Daniel Vettori went the same way without scoring. Akhtar came back in the next over to take the wickets of Robbie Hart and Ian Butler four balls apart and both without scoring.

With Pakistan needing 274 to win and inflict New Zealand's first home series defeat in four years, openers Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar began steadily until Farhat mistimed a ball from Oram and was well taken by wicketkeeper Hart for 14.

Umar was caught leg before wicket by Vettori for 34 and Yasir Hameed gave Butler his solidary success edging the ball to Hart for 59.

First Published: Dec 29, 2003 06:41 IST