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Cricket: Black Caps win second test against Pakistan in stunning third session

Kane Williamson and Black Caps players pose for a team photo as they celebrate a 2-0 series win over Pakistan. Photo / Photosport
Kane Williamson and Black Caps players pose for a team photo as they celebrate a 2-0 series win over Pakistan. Photo / Photosport

New Zealand have broken a 31-year drought, defeating Pakistan 2-0 in their two-test series.

The denouement to the contest took place this afternoon in Hamilton with the Black Caps triumphing by 138 runs in a tribute to tenacity in fading light.

A riveting final session saw New Zealand reduce Pakistan from 158 for one to 230 all out.

Patience and a humming second new ball paid dividends for Kane Williamson's side as they showed renewed spirit after recent defeats in South Africa and India.

The last time the national side achieved the feat against Pakistan was on February 14, 1985 in Dunedin when Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield produced a 50-run stand to haul in a target of 278.

Even an Invercargill-bound train had an unscheduled 10-minute stop to capture history unfolding from across the tracks on that afternoon.

This time it was the turn of the Seddon Park loyalists as they ensconced themselves in beach chairs, huddled into blankets or poured a cuppa from the thermos to ward off a dying westerly wind. The New Zealand bowling and fielding juggernaut finally rolled through a stubborn Pakistan top order and defeated the tail with a stunning Tom Latham short leg catch removing Imran Khan to finish the task.

Each of the specialist bowlers took wickets; just reward for a team showing. Mitchell Santner broke the ice of the Pakistan top order with the first brace, that was bookended by Neil Wagner taking three for none from six balls to complete the feat.

It required diligence.

Pakistan had a wicket in reasonable condition to bat on. At stumps last night it had endured 239.1 overs compared to a possible 351 if there had been four full days' play. That was close to a day and a session behind the regular attrition.

Sami Aslam (91) and captain Azhar Ali (58) posted 131 from 60 overs, the longest opening partnership by a Pakistani opening pair in the fourth innings of a test.

The tourists' were set a target of 369 by Williamson to win the test, square the series and retain their No 2 world ranking.

At tea, they were left a chase of 211 at 6.21 per over in the final session.

Azhar was bowled by Mitchell Santner for 58. The opener threw his bat at a cover drive but dragged the ball onto the stumps. He did the same with Babar Azam to begin the post-tea crumble.

The visitors began the final day at one for none. They defended until around half an hour before the interval.

You could detect a pressing of the accelerator with a raft of attacking shots, as if they were preparing to make their move and employ a one-day innings strategy.

However, only a minor run rate spike occurred in the approach to tea.

New Zealand also experienced the full gamut of decision review system emotion across the day.

There was indecision, disappointment, dithering, awkwardness, intuition and genius in the way they applied their judgement.

Colin de Grandhomme had an appeal for lbw against Aslam rejected. New Zealand pondered before Williamson signaled for a referral.

It was rejected because he took too long to decide. To make matters worse, Sky ran the incident, showing that Aslam would have been given out.

Azhar was part of one of test cricket's more bizarre DRS referrals.

A ball from Matt Henry flew past at chest height as he leaned back.

There was a stifled appeal, New Zealand fielders close to the wicket developed a dose of upturned hands and querulous faces until Williamson decided that he'd better refer it.

The ball came nowhere near the bat.

Tim Southee had more luck to remove Younis Khan later. With two fresh reviews the New Zealanders were prepared.

Pakistan drop to No 4 in the rankings and New Zealand rise to No.6 with the result.

In addition to 1985 and now 2016, New Zealand's only other series win across their 22 attempts against Pakistan came 1-0 on the subcontinent in 1969-70, courtesy of a five-wicket victory at Lahore.

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