NZ vs Pak, 2014: The Game of Grief!

Phillip Hughes' death

It was November 2014. New Zealand was in Sharjah to play a 3-match test series. Pakistan was in sublime form and had crushed Australia 2-0 just a month ago at the same venue. With high confidence level, Pakistan began the NZ Tour in the most expected fashion, giving them a taste of playing in a Pakistani backyard in the first game itself.

New Zealand was well beaten in the 1st Test. To give you a clear picture, it was the largest winning margin by Pakistan against any New Zealand Team since 1952. The Kiwis struggled a bit harder and were able to draw the 2nd Test.

Going into the 3rd Test, New Zealand had a record to fight for – that they hadn’t lost a test series since 2012. But the chances were very bleak for this inexperienced team against a formidable Pakistan. After Misbah & company scored 280-3 on day 1, disheartening news came from South Australia – Phil Hughes had died. The cricket community was shocked.

Upon hearing this news, the immediate reaction of Brendon McCullum was to get the only ongoing international Test Match abandoned, as a mark of respect to the young Australian. He called for a team meeting in his hotel, and everyone agreed with his initial reaction. Including Pakistan, nobody felt like rubbing shoulders on-field. Meanwhile, the umpires & the match referee had decided the call off Day 2, and follow ICC’s directives for rest of the game.

There was utmost disbelief, shock, and sadness in the New Zealand side. They wanted to take the first flight back home. McCullum, like a leader that he is, tried to lighten the mood of the team. Somewhere he knew that there was a good chance that they’ll have to resume the Test Match next day, like it or lump it. But hopes were still alive to have the game called off.

But later, he found himself at the start of day 2, apologizing to the team for having them to play. They were asked to put on black bands on their arms. He assured the team that there would be no harsh judgment on any player’s performance and no consequences for failures.

This game turned out to be a revelation for New Zealand as they put together 690 runs, the biggest total ever by a New Zealand side and the second-highest score against Pakistan by any team. As a team, they hit 22 sixes – a world record in a Test innings. McCullum managed a double-ton and young Kane Williamson scored a much classier 192!

Game Between NZ and PAK, Sharjah


Pakistan were all out for 259; NZ won by an innings and 80 runs, and the series was leveled.


This test was New Zealand’s first win against Pakistan in Asia in 18 years, and the first innings win by New Zealand against any team in Asia in 30 years.

Cricinfo beautifully summed it up:

The Kiwis were badly affected by the incident and didn’t even celebrate any of their achievements. A remarkable thing to note here is that they barely applauded a wicket. Consider this: just the two bouncers bowled today and no close-in fielders in front of the wicket! Takes some doing and still they won the game in four days to level the series 1-1.. full marks and hats off to the Kiwis for the spirit they have shown throughout the series. Certainly, an example set for all the other sides to follow and act upon. Long live their attitude!


By: Shubhang Srivastava                                                                                                                 Pic 1

Shubhang Srivastava, born and brought up in Delhi, always wanted to become a traveler or something. But, he is currently working as a successful professional in the media industry. He loves lounging on his oversized bean bag, listening to Coldplay.  A complete movie buff, his knowledge can actually leave you amazed. He has an eye for detail and an unparalleled passion for Formula One, Cricket and Squash. When he’s not working, one can easily find him getting involved in some sports discussion episode with people around.

P.S.: He is a very nice guy. Trust us!