An Overview Pakistan vs New Zealand

November 17, 2016 | By

With the first Test of the Pakistan’s current tour of New Zealand scheduled from November 17, an incisive recollection of the past series will not just refresh your memory but also gear you up for some exciting cricket ahead.

As the curtain goes up on the 2016-17 New Zealand-Pakistan Test series, it is worthwhile to have a look at the history of encounters between the two rivals.

Even a cursory glance at the past results should suffice it to show that Pakistan has maintained the upper hand.

The Test rubbers played in Pakistan especially have been dominated by the home team with the sole exception of the 1969-70 season when Graham Dowling’s spirited side upstaged their hosts by a 1-0 margin.

Very rarely had the Kiwi batsmen been able to tackle the Pakistani spinners effectively on our dusty turners.

Here, we take a brief look at every Pakistan-New Zealand series starting in the autumn of 1955:

New Zealand first tour Pakistan in 1955-56. Pakistan won the first two of a three-Test series.  It was Pakistan’s first-ever series victory after gaining Test status in 1952-53. New Zealand players, inexperienced in batting on a matting wicket, were dismissed for 164 and 124. In the match, off-spinner Zulfiqar Ahmed bowled 84 overs (40 being maidens) and took 11 wickets for 79 runs. The second Test played at Lahore will always be remembered for a magnificent 308 runs record seventh-wicket stand between Waqar Hasan and Imtiaz Ahmed. They came together when Pakistan was reeling at 111-6 in reply to New Zealand’s handsome first innings total of 348. Waqar scored 189 and Imtiaz 209. Useful contributions by the lower-order batsmen took the score to 561. New Zealand made 328 in its second innings. Pakistan won the Test (and the series) by four wickets, scoring the 117 runs required in 90 minutes for the loss of six wickets.  Rain prevented any play on the first two days of the third Test at Dacca.

It took Pakistan another nine years to pay a return a visit. The Pakistanis led by Hanif Mohammad played three Tests, all of them ending in a stalemate. From Pakistan Hanif Mohammad was the sole survivor of the 1955-56 rubber in Pakistan whereas the Kiwis had as many as four players from that rubber in the shape of skipper John Reid, McGregor, Harris and wicketkeeper Dick. The Pakistanis escaped the clutches of defeat in the first Test by narrow margin the conclusion of the third Test at Christchurch and the first Test of the rubber in Pakistan played at Rawalpindi. This time Pakistan emerged as victors with a convincing 2-0 margin.

After a tour of the United Kingdom and India, New Zealand – G.T. Dowling, Captain-played four matches including three Tests, in Pakistan. New Zealand won the 1969-70 rubber in Pakistan. Brilliant fielding and the astute captaincy of Graham Dowling were the two factors, which contributed to the Kiwi’s success. Hanif Mohammad made his final Test appearance in the first Test. The first Test match, which was played on a tricky pitch at Karachi, was drawn. It was the same Test that Zaheer Abbas and Sadiq Mohammad made their Test debuts. Another important feature of the drawn Karachi Test was the brilliant performance of another debutant Mohammad Nazir who took 7-99 in New Zealand’s first innings, six of his victims being clean bowled. Pakistan’s first collapse at Lahore provided New Zealand with a golden opportunity, which they cashed in with great aplomb.

In 1972-73 Pakistanis went to New Zealand immediately after being subjected to a humiliating 3-0 whitewash in Australia. Intikhab Alam side was able to restore some of their pride and also avenge their 1969-70 defeat in Pakistan by winning the rubber 1-0. Pakistan’s batting powerhouse clicked in all the Tests and the leg-spinning prowess of Intikhab Alam and Mushtaq Mohammad played the decisive winning role. The burly duo claimed 18 New Zealand wickets in the Dunedin Test. Mushtaq also had the distinction of scoring a double hundred in the same Test and featured in a 350 runs fourth wicket stand with Asif Iqbal. From the New Zealand side Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge created a world Test record for the tenth wicket with their 151 runs stand at Auckland. Rodney Redmond made an excellent debut in the final Test scoring 107 and 56, but never appeared in a Test match again. It was Pakistan’s first-ever victory in away series. It also marked the beginning of the illustrious career of Sir Richard Hadlee who made a rather modest debut at Wellington.

Four years later, Mushtaq Mohammad was made the captain in the 1976-77 series against New Zealand at home. The Kiwi skipper was their indomitable run-machine Glenn Turner. New Zealand were depleted by the absence of many star like Bevan Congdon, Dayle Hadlee and Ken Wadsworth, who had died due to cancer few years back, once again, it was Pakistan who emerged on top gaining a 2-0 win. The Lahore Test was highlighted by the rise of 19-year-old Javed Miandad as a brilliant young batsman. He plundered the Kiwis on his Test debut with a sensational 163, and with vice-captain Asif Iqbal (166) added a record 281 runs for the fifth wicket pulling Pakistan up from 55-4. Kiwi off-spinner Peter Petherick then produced more excitement snatching a hat-trick on his Test debut. Pakistan were eventually set only 101 runs to win. Javed Miandad made the match really memorable by making the winning hit with a six.  Mushtaq and Sadiq got centuries at Hyderabad, and Majid was out at 98, as Pakistan raced to a total of 473-8.  Pakistan didn’t have any trouble in winning the Test by 10 wickets, also taking the rubber with it.  Majid began the sensational Karachi Test with a century before lunch and then the young Javed hit a mammoth 206. Mushtaq followed with another century. The Kiwis batted with guts this time, their new wicketkeeper Warren Lees compiling a career best 152. Richards Hadlee smacked 87 and the Pakistan lead was reduced to 97 runs. Javed missed the distinction of making a century in each innings as he got 85 in his next outing. New Zealand was set 388 to win, but they managed to save the game through some determined batting. At 93 for four it was a grim situation but the final score was 262 for seven.

Leg-spin once again proved to be the Achilles heel of the Kiwis as Pakistan recorded their third successive rubber victory on the 1978-79 trip to New Zealand’s last series defeat at home and they have maintained this record throughout the last decade. In the first Test at Christchurch, Pakistanis achieved perhaps one of their most important wins ever. Skipper Mushtaq and Wasim Raja used their leg-breaks and googlies to telling effect and bowled Pakistan to a 128- run victory. Mushtaq got nine wickets and Raja got six. Earlier, Javed Miandad had dominated the batting with scores of 81 and 160*. The next two Tests were badly marred by rain and petered out as tame draws. There were, however, many excellent individual performances and the most memorable among them was Wasim Bari’s world record of seven catches behind the stumps in the first New Zealand innings at Auckland.

The 1984-85 season saw two Pakistan-New Zealand rubbers. First the Kiwis paid a visit to Pakistan and then later in the same season the Pakistanis went to Kiwi land. Both the rubbers were decided in favour of the host countries by identical 2-0 margin. New Zealanders maintained their hopeless record against spinners as they failed to solve the mysteries posed by Abdul Qadir and Iqbal Qasim. Even Zaheer with his innocuous looking off-spinners was able to pick up a couple of wickets. From the New Zealand side southpaw Stephen Boock was equally effective but lacked support at the other end. Javed Miandad’s century-in-each innings feat at Hyderabad and John Fulton Reid’s remarkable consistency were the two notable features in the batting department. On reaching New Zealand the situation reversed in a dramatic fashion. On seaming wickets the Kiwi attack spearheaded by Richard Hadlee sliced the Pakistani batting line-up time and again. After being saved by rain in the series opener, Pakistan crashed to an innings defeat at Auckland. The final Test played at Dunedin proved to be the most exciting encounter of the rubber. New Zealand just managed to clinch the issue by a narrow two-wicket difference, thanks mainly to a defiant stand between Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield, which saw them home.

The 1988-89 rubber between Pakistan and New Zealand was played on New Zealand soil too. But for the cricket followers it proved to be an anticlimactic affair as no Test could even reach the decisive stage. The first one scheduled to be played at Dunedin thus reducing the series to a mere two-match affair. Two hundreds each were by Shoaib Mohammad and Javed Miandad while for New Zealand Martin Crowe excelled with the bat. Miandad’s innings of 271 at Auckland was the highest score in the Pakistan-New Zealand series. This time it was Pakistan’s turn to fire at the New Zealand umpires, whom they thought deprived, them of a certain win at Auckland.

Two years, later Javed Miandad was the Pakistan captain in the 1990-91 series against New Zealand at home. The Kiwi skipper was Martin Crowe. Once again, it was Pakistan who emerging on top gaining a 3-0 win over the Kiwis. Waqar Younis, the hero of the series, his aggregate of 29 wickets (@ 10.86) is the best-ever on either side in the series, surpassing Pervez Sajjad’s 22 wickets (@ 15.63) in the 1969-70 home rubber.  In the third Test at Faisalabad, Waqar became only the fifth bowler to dismiss all eleven batsmen in a Test.

The Test match played between Pakistan and Kiwis in 1992-93 season at Hamilton where Pakistan were shot out for a mere 176 in the second innings but Pakistani bowlers didn’t lose heart and their remarkable efforts brought about a sensational 33 runs win for Pakistan. Waqar Younis got nine wickets and his partner Wasim Akram eight in a match. Inspired fast bowling by Waqar Younis, took his 100th wicket in 20th Tests, and Wasim Akram earned Pakistan a remarkable victory after New Zealand had required only 127 to win an ill-tempered encounter.

In 1993-94 in New Zealand, Pakistan won the three-Test series 2-1. The opening Test of the series was won inside three days by visitors, but only after they had fought back from conceding a first innings deficit of 27 runs. But it was Wasim Akram to decide the match, bowled unchanged throughout the New Zealand’s second innings. Also reaching 200 Test wickets in his 51st Test. Waqar reached 150 wickets in his 27th Test. Rashid’s nine catches in the match created a Pakistan record, while Young’s six catches set a match fielding record for New Zealand. Both umpires were guilty of some rare miscounting: Dunne managed an eight, two fives and two sevens, while Bird permitted a five-ball over. Pakistan’s authority was never in threatened in the second Test, as their innings – victory gave them a winning 2-0 lead in the series. Wasim Akram recorded his best Test figures and claimed 10 or more wickets in a match for the third time in his career. New Zealand rediscovered their self –belief with an outstanding five-wicket victory, as they made their highest fourth innings total to win a Test match.

In 1995-96 Pakistanis went to New Zealand straight away after being crushing 2-1 series loss in Australia. On the New Zealand leg of the tour, the visitor’s win their one-off Test at Christchurch without much of a hassle. New Zealand ploy of putting Pakistan in to bat appeared to backfire when the visitors reached fifty in the ninth over and a hundred in 105 balls before the departure of Ramiz Raja signalled a dramatic collapse. Pakistan lost all ten wickets for a further 73 runs as the New Zealand bowlers improved on their earlier erratic form. New Zealand batted circumspectly, reaching fifty in 17.3 overs. Twose and Cairns added 102 off 169 balls for the fifth wicket. New Zealand lost its last four wickets for 24 runs to finish with a lead of 78. Before the deficit was wiped off, Rameez retired hurt and Aamer was dismissed. Ijaz and Inzamam compiled a new Pakistan second wicket record against New Zealand of 140 off 241 balls. Inzamam reached fifty from 60 balls with Ijaz needing 71 for his fifty and 197 for his fourth Test century. Rameez returned and reached fifty from 104 balls before becoming Morrioson’s 150th Test wicket. New Zealand had to score 357 to win but after the openers reached fifty in 84 balls, the team collapsed to 75-5. Only Twose offered any resistance. Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed’s 7-56 was his career best and he took ten wickets in a Test for the first time.

In 1996-97, a two Test series in Pakistan ended 1-1, with Pakistan’s debutant Mohammad Zahid taking 11 for 130 in the second Test at Rawalpindi, the best by a Pakistani on test debut.

In New Zealand in 2001-01, Pakistan won the first Test by 299 runs. It is New Zealand’s second worst collapse in its history. New Zealand’s team of 1946 lost eight wickets for five runs in their first innings against Australia at the Basin Reserve. And even in New Zealand’s dismissal for 26 by England in 1955/56, New Zealand lost eight wickets for 17 runs. It was 62 minutes of mayhem, as off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq took four wickets for three runs from 12.4 overs bowling unchanged from the western end of the ground and the surprise package of the day, Mohammad Sami, taking five wickets for six runs in seven overs. The second Test was a high-scoring draw (double centuries for New Zealand’s Mathew Sinclair and Pakistan’s Yousuf Youhana) and New Zealand leveled the series by winning the third Test by an innings and 185. The highlight was an over from Younis Khan which Craig McMillan hit for a Test record 26 runs: 4, 4,4,4,6.4. Three reverse sweeps, an orthodox sweep, a cut, all for four, a magnificent off driven six, which soared out of the ground and into the adjacent car park, all in one over. Pakistan in this match looked demoralized and uninterested.

In 2001-02, New Zealand were originally due to arrive in Pakistan in September 2011, but called the tour off because of security fears after the terrorist attacks in the USA. Seven months later they honoured their commitment travelling to Pakistan for three One-day Internationals and two Test matches – down from the three Tests originally planned.

New Zealand were captained by Stephen Fleming and Pakistan by Waqar Younis. In addition, the teams played a three-match Limited Overs International (LOI) series which Pakistan won 3–0.

Sadly after the spadework done by the Pakistan Cricket Board the tour came to an abrupt and tragic end. A car bomb exploded in front of Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi, when both teams were staying, a couple of hours before the start of the Second Test and killed 14 people including 11 French engineers.

The match referee, Mike Proctor swiftly announced the cancellation of the Test, and the tour; the dazed Pakistan officials had no alternative but to agree. But it was depressing news for the board.

On the field, Pakistan triumph was total. Their home record on home soil had been disappointing in recent years; they had not won a Test series there since beating West Indies in 1997-98. In the one-day games they a hieved their first clean sweep since Zimbabwe’s visit in 1996-97. Shoaib Akhtar, six for 16 at Karachi in first ODI, with his best in Tests, six for 11 at Lahore. Even he was overshadowed by the hefty figure of Inzamam-ul-Haq who becomes the 15th man to score a triple-hundred in Tests. New Zealand crumbled for 73 and went down to fifth heaviest defeat in history.

In 2003-04,  Pakistan national cricket team toured New Zealand in December to January 2003–04 and played a two-match Test series against the New Zealand national cricket team. Pakistan won the series 1–0. New Zealand were captained by Stephen Fleming and Pakistan by Inzamam-ul-Haq. In addition, the teams played a five-match series of Limited Overs Internationals (LOI) which New Zealand won 4–1.

In the first Test at Hamilton the New Zealanders were ambled to 563 runs in their first Innings, but were torn apart in the second by the fast reversed swing by Mohammad Sami, and ended up grateful for a weather- assisted draw. But in the deciding Test there would be no escape. On a well mannered pitch New Zealand again seemed safe, taking a first innings lead of 170, but the fearsome Shoaib Akhtar then proved irresistible, bowling them out for 103.

In 2009-10, Pakistan cricket team toured New Zealand in November and December 2009 for a three-match Test series. Although being played in New Zealand, this was a “home” series for Pakistan. The series ended 1-1 draw.

The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) which became official from 1 October 2009 was used for the first time during this series. The UDRS allows players to challenge the umpire’s decisions for a specific number of times per innings.

In 2010-11, Pakistan arrived in New Zealand in December 2010 to play two Tests, three Twenty20s (T20) and six One Day Internationals (ODIs). Three tests were initially planned but as the 2011 Cricket World Cup is being held in February/April, one test was dropped and one ODI and the three T20s were added.

Pakistan arrived to find New Zealand in a state of dishevelment- and left with their first series win outside the sub-continent since beating New Zealanders in 2003-04. It was triumph for the 36 year old Misbah-ul-Haq, in only his second series as captain following the suspension pf salman butt over spot-fixing allegations in England in 2010. Returning to a country where he made his debut a decade earlier, Misbah responded in style, passing 50 in all his test innings to take his sequences of half-centuries to six and his average as captain to 112, and top-scoring in the series with 231 runs. In the one-day internationals, which Pakistan 3-2 under Shahid Afridi’s leadership, Misbah’s tally of 203 was bettered by Martin Guptil.

In 2014-15, New Zealanders toured the United Arab Emirates from 11 November to 19 December 2014. The tour consisted of three Test matches, two Twenty20 Internationals and five One Day International matches. The Test and T20I series were both drawn 1–1 and New Zealand won the ODI series 3–2.

Shoaib Ahmed

Shoaib Ahmed is an author at ScoreLine and has written numerous cricket articles published at

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