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New Zealand hit an historic height



New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

Getty Images

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson

New Zealand became the world's top-ranked Test nation for the first time with a dramatic victory after a stunning collapse by Pakistan in the final session of the first Test in Mount Maunganui yesterday.

Resuming on 71 for three in pursuit of an unlikely 373 to win, the visitors lost only one wicket through two and a half sessions, moving to 240 for four in the last session with 25 overs left.

The prospect of a draw loomed large thanks to a defiant fifth-wicket partnership of 165 runs in 63 painstaking overs from Fawad Alam - who took his overnight 21 to a superb 102 - and captain Mohammad Rizwan, who compiled 60 off 191 balls.

But when paceman Kyle Jamieson finally had Rizwan trapped lbw, it started an implosion in which Pakistan lost their last six wickets for 31 runs in 21.3 overs, ultimately being dismissed for 271 as New Zealand won by 101 runs.

New Zealand not only took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series but earned enough rankings points to topple neighbours Australia from the top of the ICC's Test rankings.

Captain Kane Williamson said: "There was a huge effort from the bowlers to get us across the line."

Belfast Telegraph