Black Caps: 'As good as I've seen' - Hesson on bowling display

By David Leggat in Christchurch

Henry Nicholls and Jeet Raval at the end of the match after defeating Pakistan. Photosport
Henry Nicholls and Jeet Raval at the end of the match after defeating Pakistan. Photosport

New Zealand's winning performance against Pakistan has drawn lavish praise from their coach.

Mike Hesson described New Zealand's bowling display in Pakistan's second innings, when they were reduced from 58 for one to 95 for six, as "as good as I've seen" in helping set up the eight-wicket win.

Pakistan were eventually dismissed for 171, leaving New Zealand 105 to win, which they did in 31.3 overs.

"It's the best collective bowling performance in the last four or five years that I can remember. We've bowled sides out in those last few years, but to stick to plans for a long period of time, not one guy, not two, but the whole unit was pleasing," he said.

The fact that the two debutants, man of the match Colin de Grandhomme and opener Jeet Raval, are seasoned first-class players wasn't lost on Hesson.

"Colin's been a talented player for a long time but we've been waiting for something to click, to show he's worked out how to play at first-class level first.

"In the last six months we've seen really good signs of that with bat and ball.

"It was just a matter of time. People mature at different stages. In this instance, Colin (aged 30) is probably a slightly later maturer, but has plenty of years in him."

Hesson said he had ''no regrets at all" at not taking Raval to India, where New Zealand were beaten 3-0 in their last test series, the last chances for long-time opener Martin Guptill, who made way for Raval in Christchurch.

He wanted the right time to introduce the lean lefthander, who made 55 and 36 not out in the test win.

"His decision making was exceptional. The key is giving Jeet the best opportunity to be successful and he certainly grabbed it with both hands."

What type of pitch New Zealand and Pakistan will be presented with in Hamilton shapes as a key discussion point in the leadup to the match.

"I think Christchurch was an excellent pitch.

"On the first day (when 13 wickets fell) sure it seamed but a pitch which had pace and bounce, if you have no seam movement can still create opportunity," Hesson said. "In Hamilton we've had a few different ones."

He doesn't subscribe to the view that Pakistan were underdone by having their one leadup match in Nelson washed out.

"They are No 2 in the world for a reason. They're a proud nation, have done well in England (earlier this year).

"I'm sure they'll challenge us, will learn from this game and come hard at us. It's about making sure we are prepared for that."

- NZ Herald

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