LAHORE – Pakistan captain Haseem Khan, led from the front; scoring a brace in Pakistan’s 2-1 over New Zealand to take the touring side one up in the five-match Test series at Carterton Wairarapa.
The green shirts are at the threshold of winning a series with the last game slated for tomorrow, Thursday.
After three tests in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, the two sides moved to Carterton, Wairarapa for the last two matches and Pakistani side demonstrated a higher level of quality hockey to establish supremacy in the series by winning the game, said the information made available to APP here on Wednesday.
Pak success owed to their captain Haseem who exhibited superb hockey in the role of mentor for a team which has a majority of young players.
The hosts began aggressively, but Pakistan soon wrested the initiative and applied pressure. They were ahead after 1o minutes.
Haseem Khan beautifully slipped through a congested defence before flicking the ball in with an excellent flick. One minute into the second quarter, it was 1-1. A good run from Harry Miskimmin was put into the goal by Jonty Keane.
With seven minutes to go before the half time, the green shirts were again in front; again through Haseem Khan who showed right opportunism as Pak finished 2-1 at half time.
The third quarter saw the momentum swinging to and fro, but the score board didn’t change.
With crowd loudly cheering them, the Black Sticks went all out for the equalizer in the last 15 minutes. Pakistanis defended resolutely to keep the lead intact when the final hooter sounded.
Interestingly, there was no penalty corner goal today. The two sides had scored ten goals off the set piece in the first three tests.
The last test on Thursday is being billed as a match of nerves as New Zealand world’s 8th ranked team will be under immense pressure to win the game to share the series with the 14th ranked Pakistan. – APP