Young cricketers all around the world dream of playing Test cricket for the national side, and if they manage to score runs or take wickets, it is an icing on the cake, a story they can proudly tell their grandchildren. There is little doubt Colin de Grandhomme would do the same as he destroyed Pakistan in the first Test, picking six-for to bundle out the visitors for 133 runs on Friday.
The 22-year-old debutant did not get the new ball, with experienced bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult sharing the bright red cherry. Grandhomme did not take much time to get his first wicket in Test cricket, dismissing Azhar Ali in his third over.
From there on, it was all about New Zealand, as Pakistan batsmen were not able to cope with the green pitch, which assisted the seamers. The debutant looked in good shape, and got further confidence after dismissing two huge batsmen, Babar Azam and Younis Khan. They were tottering at 56 for the loss of four wickets.
Despite a decent partnership between skipper Misbah Ul Haq and Asad Shafiq, they could not rebuild the innings, especially with Grandhomme steaming in to take more wickets. Even after the dismissal of Shafiq, the captain was determined to stay at the crease, but no one supported him at the other end.
With Rahat Ali being dismissed by Grandhomme in the 26th over, Pakistan were all out for 133 runs, and the Kiwi bowler finished with an impressive figure of 6 wickets for 41 runs.
New Zealand too did not start their innings well with the bat, as Tom Latham and Kane Williamson lost their wicket in the fifth and tenth over, respectively. Even the experienced Ross Taylor could not impress with the bat in trying conditions, and fell for 11 runs.
And just as one thought that New Zealand would also suffer the fate of the Pakistan batsmen, debutant opener Jeet Raval and Henry Nicholls put up an unbeaten partnership of 64 runs to help them end the day with 104 runs for three wickets.
As a result, the home team are in a good position, as they trail only by 29 runs with seven wickets remaining.
The second Test belonged to the two debutants – Grandhomme and Ravel – who made good use of their chances. Ravel, even against the likes of Mohammad Amir and Sohail Khan, showed his class and proved that he is comfortable with the big boys of international cricket. The left-hander will hope to build on this innings and start his Test career with a century. And that, against such bowlers and difficult batting conditions, would be something to boast to grandchildren about.