'Perfect comeback' for Bond
Shane Bond said figures of 8-153 which helped inspire New Zealand to victory against Pakistan constituted the "perfect comeback".
Last Updated: 28/11/09 10:54am
Shane Bond said match figures of 8-153 which helped inspire New Zealand to victory in the first Test against Pakistan constituted the "perfect comeback".
The paceman, playing his first Test since 2007, claimed a five-wicket haul in the first innings and followed that up with figures of 3-46 in the second innings to halt Pakistan's run chase and earn himself the man of the match plaudit.
Set 251 to win on Saturday, Pakistan needed less than 60 runs with five wickets in hand when Bond took the crucial wicket of Umar Akmal.
Iain O'Brien then overcame a dislocated finger to take two quick wickets as Pakistan succumbed to a 32-run loss.
Bond said: "It was perfect really. It's why you want to play Test cricket because it is a true test and it has mental highs and lows.
"It was great cricket and to win in a team that's working so hard as well makes it satisfying. The boys are putting in a lot of hard work and I think we are starting to reap the rewards for it which is nice."
Captain Daniel Vettori was full of praise for his bowlers' efforts, particularly the spell by Bond and O'Brien after tea when the match was in the balance.
"You can't deny the spell by Iain and Shane, both bowling eight or nine overs in a row, just brought us into the game," said Vettori.
"To take four bowlers in and for all three seamers to step up with a huge workload was fantastic."
O'Brien trapped Kamran Akmal lbw shortly after his brother's dismissal and eventually claimed 3-63 despite having his finger put back in place.
"I saw the pain he was in because his eyes welled up so it must have been agony and it was also out of place," said Vettori of O'Brien's injury.
"For him to do that and then get the wicket in the next couple of overs and to just keep coming and coming is a credit."
Given New Zealand's narrow margin of victory, opposing captain Mohammad Yousuf was left to rue dropped catches in the slips.
Imran Farhat missed several catches including one off Vettori in the first innings when he was on nought. The New Zealand skipper went on to make 99.
"The result is disappointing obviously but full credit goes to New Zealand for the way they played and the way they bowled in the second innings," said Yousuf.
"We dropped vital catches, otherwise we wouldn't be chasing 250 but I'm pleased with the way the team fought back."
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam added that more runs were needed from the senior batsmen after bowlers Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul had given them the scent of victory.
"We have to improve our fielding, especially in the slip cordon. We give full credit to the bowlers for the way they bowled in both innings," he said.
"We have to improve our batting for the second Test match (in Wellington which begins on Thursday) and also our slip catching."