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Win against Pakistan certainly wasn't easy: Brendon McCullum

Skipper McCullum hails New Zealand’s emotional series-levelling win in the wake of Hughes’ death

Sharjah: New Zealand beat Pakistan by an innings and 80 runs to win the third Test here yesterday, squaring the three-match series 1-1.

Pakistan were bundled out for 259 on the fourth day with Trent Boult taking 4-38 and Mark Craig grabbing 3-109.


Brendon McCullum (second from left) leads his team to the pavilion after winning the third Test in Sharjah yesterday. PIC/afp

Asad Shafiq top-scored with 137 while Sarfraz Ahmed made 37. New Zealand had compiled their biggest-ever Test total of 690 in the morning. Skipper Brendon McCullum smashed 202 while Kane Williamson made 192 to give New Zealand a decisive 339-run lead. Pakistan won the first Test by 248 runs in Abu Dhabi while the second Test ended in a draw.

Skipper Brendon McCullum hailed New Zealand’s “not so easy” series levelling in the wake of fellow cricketer Phillip Hughes’ tragic death.

“It certainly wasn’t easy,” said McCullum.

Tough
“It was a very tough period. We are nowhere as affected as the guys back in Australia, but at the same time, cricket is a community... it is a fraternity and we felt we lost one of our own.”

Both teams agreed to abandon the second day’s play on Thursday after the tragic news came and did not celebrate fall of wickets and milestones. McCullum said the tragedy hit players hard.

“It hit the guys pretty hard and we tried to stay as close as we could as a group. We tried to spend a lot of time together and tried to talk through stuff and share one another’s thoughts.

“It felt incredibly hard to focus on the game and still hard to talk about the game. We will look back upon this performance in time and we will be really proud of what we have been able to achieve,” said McCullum who hit a robust 202. “I am proud of the way the boys bounced back under trying circumstances. We stuck together on and off the field. But to bounce back the way we did by taking those seven wickets in the first session on the second day and then take the momentum into our batting and score at five an over.”

Brief scores

Pakistan 351 & 259 (A Shafiq 137, T Boult 4-38) lost to
New Zealand 690 (B McCullum 202, K Williamson 192; Rahat Ali 4-99) by an innings and 80 runs

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