After a string of 12 test match losses over the last three years, Pakistan won convincingly today against New Zealand by 141 runs at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Pakistan's bowling attack, the Akmal brothers superb batting performance and patient scoring and leadership by Mohammad Yousuf were crucial in winning.
Ross Taylor's valiant second innings stand that added 97 runs couldn't save the Kiwis from defeat. In the end, Pakistan 264 (Kamran Akmal 70, Vettori 4-53, Tuffey 4-64) and 239 (Yousuf 83, Umar Akmal 52, Martin 4-52, O'Brien 4-66) beat New Zealand 99 (Asif 4-40, Kaneria 3-6) and 263 (Taylor 97, Asif 5-67, Kaneria 3-94) by 141 runs
Pakistan's terrible test cricket performance has been in sharp contrast to its successes in T20 matches, including the World Championship.
As always, Pakistanis owe their test win to the great bowling attack led by Asif and Kaneria. The win came in spite of the lackluster Pakistani fielding with over half dozen dropped catches, particularly in the second innings.
Pakistan's first test win in three years coincided with neighboring India achieving the top ICC rank for test cricket. Before their 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka in the recently concluded home series, India were ranked third with 119 points after Sri Lanka and chart-toppers South Africa (122). The two consecutive innings victories in Kanpur and Mumbai earned India five points, taking them two clear of South Africa, while Sri Lanka slipped below Australia to fourth place. England and Pakistan occupy the fifth and sixth places respectively. Pakistan also ranks 6th in ICC ODI rankings while Australia and India occupy number 1 and two spots.
In recent international tournaments, India have been sent home early during 2009---T20 in England and ICC Trophy in South Africa.
While Pakistan won the T20 title in England, Indians couldn't even make the semis. In ICC trophy, India were eliminated early while Pakistan defeated India and made it to the semi-final.
In terms of the history of India-Pakistan cricket encounters in all three formats, Pakistanis continue to have an edge over their Indian rivals:
Tests ODI Twenty20
Matches played 59 118 3
Won by Pakistan 12 69 1
Won by India 9 45 1
Draw/Tie/No result 38 4 1
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India far ahead of Pakistan in both test and ODI ranking.
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