Cricket: Black Caps debutants Colin de Grandhomme, Jeet Raval star for Black Caps against Pakistan

By David Leggat

Unheralded medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme rewrote the New Zealand test record books with a spectacular debut performance against Pakistan at Hagley Oval today.

The Auckland allrounder took six for 41 from 15.5 overs to rip through Pakistan and dismiss them for 133.

Pakistan scrapped hard though, recognising helpful conditions for the seamers, but at stumps New Zealand, chasing what would be just their ninth test win in 54 tests against them, and first at home for 31 years, were 104 for three, 29 runs adrift.

Left armer Mohammad Amir got opener Tom Latham lbw; then Sohail Khan grabbed the key wicket of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, fending a catch to first slip; and Ross Taylor was caught down the legside by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed off lively Rahat Ali.

However opener Jeet Raval, also on debut, had reached an impressive 55 and fellow lefthander Henry Nicholls was on 29, the stand worth 64.

But the day belonged to de Grandhomme, the Harare-born 30-year-old, who left Zimbabwe 10 years ago in search of a better cricket life, having been an under 19 international at the 2003-04 World Cup.

Pushing the ball up and getting swing and seam off the green pitch at strictly medium pace, had three wickets in his first seven overs to slice through Pakistan in the morning session.

You can't fault Colin de Grandhomme for a solid claim to one of New Zealand's more spectacular entries to test cricket at Hagley Oval today. Photo / Getty Images.
You can't fault Colin de Grandhomme for a solid claim to one of New Zealand's more spectacular entries to test cricket at Hagley Oval today. Photo / Getty Images.

He was on hand at the death, removing Rahat to complete the best figures on debut for any New Zealand bowler. Only eight have taken five or more wickets first up in a test, the most recent being Doug Bracewell against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2011-12.

Only Pakistan's captain Misbah-ul-Haq lasted long in testing conditions, getting to 31 in the course of a 161-minute stay. Pakistan lost five for 32 in 16.4 overs in the second session to remove any chance of a post-lunch revival.

De Grandhomme has played one ODI and four T20s, but none since 2012, and has long had a reputation as a tidy bowler and a batsman capable of murderous hitting.

He's won his place on the back of a more mature batting approach, and good form, notably a match-winning century against Otago in the Plunket Shield at the start of this month.

He has taken 123 first-class wickets in 83 games at 30.18 before today. His batting average is 35.9, including 10 centuries, so he had some credentials for a callup, getting the nod ahead of the allround alternative, Jimmy Neesham.

There was nothing particularly eye-catching about his bowling today, other than the fact he was on the mark, got the ball to move and kept the batsmen playing at it.

Tim Southee overcame some earlier radar issues to finish with two for 20 off 19 overs while left armer Trent Boult grabbed two for 29 off 16.

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