New Zealand square series after record-breaking win over Pakistan
HAMILTON, New Zealand, March 30 (AFP) - New Zealand secured a record-breaking victory as they humiliated Pakistan in the third and
final Test here Friday to square the series 1-1.
Craig McMillan set up the triumph for the Kiwis as he smashed 98 off just 97 balls, including an unprecedented 26 runs in one over before
New Zealand's young pace attack dismissed Pakistan for 118.
New Zealand romped home by an innings and 185 runs, comfortably the biggest win in their history.
Their previous largest winning margin came in 1984 over England, by an innings and 132 runs in Christchurch.
It was just their 10th win by an innings, and their 47th test win overall. It halted a run of four losses and two draws at home following their
innings win over the West Indies in the 1999 Boxing Day test in Wellington.
New Zealand ended a trying, injury-plagued season with a record of three wins, three losses and three draws from nine tests, five of them in
For captain Stephen Fleming there was no understating his joy at his 13th win as captain in his 60th Test.
"That's as close to the perfect Test as you can play," Fleming said.
"Bar a couple of catches on the first day we didn't really look back. I'm absolutely delighted to finish the season with this win.
"It's the most complete performance I've been involved in."
McMillan's whirlwind innings -- including a world record 26 runs off an over from part-time spinner Younis Khan -- helped New Zealand
declare on 407 for four and claim a first innings lead of 303.
Pacemen Daryl Tuffey, James Franklin and Chris Martin then helped finish Pakistan's second innings off inside 50 overs to end the match just
before 5pm on the fourth day.
Franklin took career-best test figures of four for 26 while Tuffey took three for 38 and Martin two for 48.
Tuffey's seven-wicket match haul on his home ground won him the man-of-the-match award. He ended the series with 16 wickets at an
average of 23.
The match only lasted 189 overs, or the equivalent of two days, after stoppages for rain and bad light.
Friday started badly for New Zealand when Mark Richardson lasted just three balls before falling for his overnight score of 106, his maiden
But McMillan and Fleming took over, putting on 147 runs in two hours, including an amazing assault from McMillan.
After bringing up his 13th test 50 off 80 balls, he scored his next 48 runs off 17 balls, including eight fours and two sixes.
Fleming reached 50 two balls before McMillan reached his milestone but then stood idle to finish the innings 51 not out off 69 balls.
Younis Khan's only over went 4, 4, 4, 4, 6, 4 -- three of them from reverse sweeps and the six from a lofted off drive out of the ground.
McMillan moved ahead of five players, including top allrounders Kapil Dev and Ian Botham, who had taken 24 off an over at test level.
But just when he was poised for his fifth Test century McMillan top-edged Fazle Akbar to Waqar Younis on the third man boundary. He
batted 166 minutes and hit 13 fours and three sixes.
Pakistan had five sessions to save the match but they only lasted 17 minutes short of four hours, with seven of their wickets falling to catches
behind the stumps.
The big wickets were those of debut captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was caught by a diving Tuffey at fine leg off Franklin for 20, and Yousuf
Youhana, who struggled on an injured ankle and was removed by Martin for 16.
Debut wicketkeeper Humayun Farhat top-scored with 26, including sixes off Tuffey and Martin.
For Inzamam it was a forgettable start to his captaincy career after he replaced the injured Moin Khan.
"New Zealand played really well but I'm very disappointed. If we'd have won the toss, maybe the situation would have been different,"
"Some of our batsmen played quite rash shots, so it wasn't all the pitch."