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Cricket
Vettori quits as Pakistan seal win
New Zealand all-rounder fulfils vow to relinquish captaincy as Pakistan win their first Test series since 2006.
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2011 14:48 GMT
Umar Gul and Umar Akmal celebrate as Pakistan end their long Test series drought [GALLO/GETTY]

Daniel Vettori ended his stint as New Zealand's Test captain after drawing the second Test against Pakistan to give the tourists their first series victory in five years.

But the all-rounder will not give up the captaincy completely until after the World Cup.

The 31-year-old Vettori had already said several times since he took on the captaincy from Stephen Fleming in November 2007 that he would step down from the role after the 50-over World Cup, which runs from February 19-April 2.

"I made that decision three-and-a-half years ago and that's it," Vettori said in Wellington after New Zealand and Pakistan drew the second Test to win the series 1-0 at the Basin Reserve on Wednesday.
 
"My timing was always to step away after the World Cup and that stays the same."

Vettori said he still wanted to continue playing Test cricket under a new leader.

Ross Taylor is his likely successor having been his vice captain in recent series.

"Test cricket is part of the game I love," Vettori added.

"I want to play it as long as I can and there are still things I want to achieve, there's no way that I want to finish with Test cricket."

First series

Vettori's opposite number Misbah-ul-haq had earlier produced a man-of-the-match performance to ensure his side batted out the final day to claim their first series victory since 2006.

Misbah finished the day on 70 not out, following on from his 99 in the first innings, as Pakistan reached 226 for five at the close of play, 48 runs short of their victory target of 274, to wrap up the two-match series 1-0.

Adnan Akmal was two not out as the visitors claimed their first series win since they beat the West Indies 2-0 at home five years ago.

"It's pretty pleasing, we've been through some rough times but we've played some really good cricket in this series, we've been very disciplined," Pakistan coach Waqar Younis told reporters.
 
"Full credit to Misbah and the boys, I think they all stuck to the task and managed to win the series."

Misbah had shared in an 118-run stand with Younus Khan (81) after New Zealand had threatened to spoil the visitors' day when they reduced them to 42-3 in the first session.

Chris Martin was particularly aggressive in the first session, taking 2-24 off nine overs and had the Pakistani batsman frantically trying to see him off.

Vettori also provided some concerning moments for the visitors, introducing himself in the eighth over and getting bounce from the harder ball and some turn out of the footmarks.

Misbah and Younus, however, slowly but assuredly ground down the attack and for long periods during the session between lunch and tea looked to have given up any pretence of chasing down the target before they slowly began to increase the scoring rate.

New Zealand were given the slightest hope of a final session victory when Younus was caught by Reece Young off Tim Southee in the final over before tea.

Final assault

Misbah, who faced 172 balls and hit his fifth boundary to bring up his 50 after 255 minutes at the crease, and Asad Shafiq, however, continued to combine stoic defence and flirting with the possibility of launching a frantic final assault.

In the final hour, Vettori trapped Shafiq in front for 24 to leave Pakistan 215-5 and while the New Zealand bowlers attempted to rattle them with several vociferous appeals, Akmal and Misbah negotiated their way through until the close.

Martin finished with 2-63 off 24 overs, leaving him on 199 Test wickets.

Source:
Agencies
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