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HomeCricBlogPakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings: "Winning easy is boring."

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings: “Winning easy is boring.”



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

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Pakistan is the gift that keeps on giving. Wonderful timing with Christmas just around the corner.

There can be no doubt that Pakistan is the only side in world cricket that can go from world class to meme class in the space of half an hour. They gave away victory in Abu Dhabi when it seemed as certain as that bloke who always says he’s shouting dinner next, but then never shows up.

46 runs with seven wickets in hand doesn’t represent the hardest of equations, but what’s a Pakistan run chase without a little drama? Or a Mickey Arthur face palm? They simply just don’t want to bore us all, and for that, we thank them.

UAE Tests can often put one to sleep, but this one was so good that I didn’t want to sleep, such was the beauty of Twitter during and in the aftermath of Pakistan’s capitulation.With Test Cricket under increasing threat, everyone seems to have their solutions to keeping it alive, but Pakistan are screaming out that it is only them who can get everyone talking so much. In fact, it was the third lowest scoring Test in the UAE, courtesy of @imsgshinde, who keeps coming up with the goods.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings Cricket Blog Cricket Opinion CricBlog

However, it would be unfair to New Zealand to focus only on Pakistan, as the Black Caps held in right throughout the Test. A total of 153 in your first innings in the UAE spells the level of trouble you got into as a child if you spoke back to your parents, but Kane Williamson’s men pulled it off, taking a 1-0 series lead into the second Test in Dubai.
Below are my ratings for each player out of ten. As always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Imam-ul-Haq: Fans on Twitter, including myself, could not believe New Zealand opened the bowling with Colin de Grandhomme in the first innings. Thought it was a silly move, but then was made to look silly, thanks to Imam’s silly shot. 3

Mohammad Hafeez: Nice guy Hafeez. Delivering two early Christmas gifts for New Zealand to take back home. 3

Azhar Ali: If Azhar went around the dressing room slapping the heads of a few players (cough…Bilal Asif, Hasan Ali), you could not have blamed him. Fell just short of guiding Pakistan home. Heartbreaking for him, but should have farmed the strike better. 7

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings Cricket Blog Cricket Opinion CricBlog

Haris Sohail: Ish Sodhi has found the weakness of Haris. Full tosses. Like, Hafeez, Haris was in a giving mood. 3

Asad Shafiq: Two 40s that set up Pakistan perfectly. But the lower order were in no mood to stick around after that. 7

Babar Azam: Pressure moments in a Pakistan game will always bring out the interesting moments. Babar Azam, coming off a fine first innings effort, was run out needlessly in the second. 7

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings Cricket Blog Cricket Opinion CricBlog
Make room! Here comes another meme.

Sarfraz Ahmed: A quiet game for Sarfraz, unlike his voice. If he makes as much an impact with the bat as he does to the entire Abu Dhabi city with his voice, he would be the world’s finest batsman. Virat Kohli? Steve Smith? Please. 3

Bilal Asif: One of the blokes on the end of an Azhar Ali back hand in the dressing room. Awful shot in the circumstances with the game on the line. Did he actually walk out to bat wanting CricBlog to take the ‘mickey’ out of him? Reportedly in tears wishing he was playing Australia again. 2

Yasir Shah: Superb with the ball. So superb that if Adil Rashid bowled like that, we’d be seeing comparisons between Rashid and Shane Warne by the English media (yes, always need to have a go at them). Yasir’s batting? Ugly. 8

Hasan Ali: His breakthrough Test with the ball, bowling with great control and reverse swing. However, I couldn’t stop laughing at his shot in the second innings. Another early Christmas gift for New Zealand. Unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable. Boom? 7.5

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings Cricket Blog Cricket Opinion CricBlog
Meme #1 of many

Mohammad Abbas: Unbelievable economy rate by Abbas, conceding just 44 runs across 34 overs in the Test. As tight as buyers in a thrift store. Held in with the bat at the end and nearly helped get Pakistan home. 7

Migraine Stop

New Zealand

Jeet Raval: Fighting second innings effort but you know Pakistan will hone in on his off stump for the remainder of the series. You never know, though, Pakistan might consider that too easy a tactic… 5

Tom Latham: Underwhelming Test from a key player. Was in the gift-giving spirit in the first innings, followed by a golden duck in the second. 1

Kane Williamson: Picturesque first innings batting. It is an absolute pleasure watching this guy play. Will be keen to push on from his starts in this series. Got his team home with his captaincy that didn’t let Pakistan get away. He might have an odour problem, though. 8

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings Cricket Blog Cricket Opinion CricBlog
“We may have lost the game, but at least I don’t stink like this guy.”

Ross Taylor: Quiet Test for the man who caused plenty of noise in the ODI series. 2

Henry Nicholls: Dug deep in both innings, but would rue giving his wicket away twice. Nevertheless, his partnership with BJ Watling in the second innings was crucial in: 1. Getting more runs on the board. 2. Batting more time to help wear the pitch out further. 7

BJ Watling: Incredibly underrated. Superb player. Victim of a good ball in the first innings, and a loss of concentration in the second. Was also very good behind the stumps. His catch to dismiss Azhar Ali in the first innings was especially special. 7.5

Colin de Grandhomme: Colin de KL Rahul or Colin de Watson? Both. Reviewed an LBW so plumb that even umpire Bruce Oxenford was wondering what was up. Two first innings wickets was his highlight. 3

Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Player Ratings Cricket Blog Cricket Opinion CricBlog
Colin de Grandhomme’s inspiration.
Neil Wagner: This guy just doesn’t stop trying. Incredible stamina to keeping lifting his intensity in the middle part of an Abu Dhabi day, where he picked up the crucial wicket of Asad Shafiq that started the procession. A clap for Wags. 8

Ajaz Patel: What a story. Test debut at 30, and led his team to victory with a five-fer for the ages. India fans will take heart that an Indian-born player is beating Pakistan again. Patel reportedly has taken Bilal Asif and Hasan Ali for dinner as a thank you for their gifts. 9
Ish Sodhi: Wasn’t at his best, but picked up crucial wickets for his side. 7

Trent Boult: World class in the first innings. Fantastic from Boult to help keep New Zealand in the game. 8


So, another Pakistan game that delivers quality material.

Hope you enjoyed this piece. If you laughed, let me know. If you didn’t, be nice.

Thanks for reading!

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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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