New Zealand v Pakistan 2nd Test
November 25th, 2016
New Zealand started their home season triumphantly with an eight-wicket win over Pakistan at Christchurch in under four days. They now hold all the aces as we get set for the second and final Test from November 25.
It was a comprehensive performance in Christchurch that led to a New Zealand victory. Of course, they rode on the performances of debutants Colin de Grandhomme and Jeet Raval but there were contributions from everyone. The win at Christchurch has helped them put an end to a four-match losing streak and would hope to build on from here.
Good news for the Kiwis is the return of Mitchell Santner who could be slotted straight back into the playing XI. There are some concerns over the participation of Ross Taylor who is struggling with an eye problem. This could mean a chance for Dean Brownlie who was drafted as cover. Kane Williamson has a great record at this ground and will once again be their lynchpin.
Hamilton brings good memories for Pakistan. This is where their rise in Test rankings under Misbah-Ul-Haq began – just under six years ago. So much has changed for the visitors from then, including the absence of Misbah but they would love to get inspired from that victory. Stand-in captain Azhar Ali will hope to lead from the front and together with Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq, he would be crucial in their quest for runs.
Pakistan bowling is in safe hands with Mohammad Amir and Rahat Ali looking in great touch. Sohail Khan was good in patches and it was his crucial runs with the bat that helped them set a decent target. Wahab Riaz has good memories from his last outing here and will look to sneak into the playing XI. His ability to reverse at great speeds may just get him the nod. Yasir Shah will be looking to set things right after going wicket less in the first Test.
Pakistan have lost back-to-back matches now but have won in their last match at Hamilton. The loss of Misbah is a huge blow though and the visitors will start on the back foot. At odds of 5/4 (Coral), the Kiwis are strong favorites to come out with a win. Pakistan are priced at odds of 4 (Coral) but don’t count them out from springing a surprise.
Williamson enjoys the Seddon Park and averages more than 50 here. His second-innings score at Christchurch should dispel any doubts on his form and he should be your top punt to lead the batting for New Zealand. At odds of 5/2 (William Hill), he is a good bet to be top Kiwi batsman in the first innings.
Tim Southee also has a love affair with this ground who has taken 26 wickets in five matches here. He could well be the main threat for the visitors. Odds of 11/4 (William Hill) make him a worthy punt to top the charts in first innings.
If you want to be slightly aggressive, look at backing Wahab Riaz – odds of 3/1 to top the charts for Pakistan in the first innings.