‘Quite surreal’ – Ajaz Patel on cloud nine after dream debut

Written by Abhishek Patil

Ajaz Patel’s Test debut came at 30, but six strikes in the match including a match-winning five-wicket haul on the fourth day in Abu Dhabi made it quite an experience for him.

Comfortably placed at 130/3 in their chase of 176 on the fourth day of the first Test, Pakistan collapsed quite dramatically to lose seven wickets for 41 runs, four of which were picked up by Patel including the final one that gave New Zealand a narrow four-run victory.

Patel finished with figures of 5/59 and was chosen the Player of the Match for his game-changing spell. “It’s still quite surreal at the moment,” Patel said after the win.

“It’ll sink in the next couple of days, but I wouldn’t have dreamt it to start any better. To do it in that fashion is quite special. I never really looked at what the score was. I was just looking to hit my areas and make use of that wicket. We wanted to play the long game and stay in the game for as long as possible.”

This win was also the narrowest for New Zealand in terms of runs in all of their Test history and was the fifth-narrowest in all Test cricket. The second Test begins on Saturday, 24 November in Dubai.

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Abhishek Patil