Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: New Zealand vs Pakistan: Second Test Preview

New Zealand vs Pakistan: Second Test Preview

Neil Wagner

New Zealand weathered an early storm from Pakistan to win the first of two Tests and ensure that they cannot lose the series in Christchurch.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Pakistan will take some positives from the first Test but will need to string more good sessions together to be competitive.

New Zealand vs Pakistan | 3 January - 7 January | Hagley Oval, Christchurch | 00:00

To Win Match
New Zealand 1/3
Draw 5/1
Pakistan 11/2

New Zealand 
The Black Caps head into the second Test and the new year with the number one ranked Test batsman in skipper Kane Williamson. Williamson knocked Australia's Steve Smith off his perch at the top thanks to his 129 in the first innings in Tauranga. He has been in great nick all summer and is the big threat in the New Zealand batting lineup.

New Zealand's bowlers have also been superb in their home conditions, finding their lengths quickly and keeping all the pressure on Pakistan. Kyle Jamieson has taken to international cricket like a duck to water, and the lanky quick tormented Pakistan's batsmen in the Boxing Day Test.

The Black Caps have now won six of their last seven Test matches against Pakistan and haven't lost to them at home since the 2010/11 season.

Hagley Oval in Christchurch hosts a Test match for the eighth time and has been a happy hunting ground for the Black Caps with five wins, a draw and a defeat to Australia coming since 2014.

Pakistan may feel they could have had New Zealand on the ropes but for a few dropped chances on day one of the first Test when Shaheen Afridi was raining down fire. Shaheen troubled all the batsmen but wasn't backed up well by his fielders. This could serve as motivation or a source of frustration.

Fawad Alam's century in the second innings gave Pakistan fans something to feel good about, with his second Test ton coming 11 years after his first. 

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam remains in doubt for the final match of the series having suffered an injury in training shortly after the squad arrived in New Zealand. His team could undoubtedly use his ability in their pursuit of the runs they will need to level the series.

Their last visit to Hagley Oval did not go well as Pakistan failed to have a single batsman score 50 and suffered an eight-wicket defeat in 2016.

Verdict: New Zealand 1/3
The hosts look to be too far ahead of Pakistan.

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