Black Caps coach Mike Hesson cherishes test series sweep over Pakistan
When New Zealand last beat Pakistan in a test series, Mike Hesson was wearing short shorts.
Very short shorts no doubt - come on, it was 1985. Stubbies, almost certainly.
The current Black Caps coach was aged 10 when New Zealand clinched a 2-0 series win in the third of three tests in Dunedin, thanks in part to the last-wicket heroics of Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield.
So he was further able to appreciate a rare triumph against a formidable foe over the past fortnight.
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"We hadn't beaten Pakistan in a test series since 1985," Hesson said following New Zealand's dramatic late second-test win in Hamilton on Tuesday that gave them a 2-0 series triumph from two tests.
"I was actually at that game and remember it vividly at Carisbrook.
"We're very aware of our history and we knew that Pakistan would have to play very well on what was really only a day four wicket."
New Zealand's test series record is vastly different at home than away, and Hesson felt his side could use that advantage over Pakistan.
"We know how to play over here.
"But to play Pakistan, who'd done well in England in conditions that are similar, to come straight from India without warm-up games for our guys either - to be able to put in a performance like that was very pleasing."
New Zealand's chances of backing up their first test win in the second encounter appeared to be fading throughout the final day as the visitors reached tea for the loss of just one wicket after NZ declared late on day four.
But Hesson felt his side never stopped working to put themselves in a position to win.
"I thought we put in 80 overs of hard grind to get the game to that position.
"The run rate kept going up and up and that was pretty much our plan really. It would have been nice if we'd kept chipping wickets away but it wasn't to be.
"We always knew that the new ball, on a surface where the roller hadn't been on it for a number of hours, that's where it started to go up and down a little bit. History suggested that later in the day it does start to play a few tricks - we were always hopeful it would.
"We kept building the run-rate up to a point where they kept having to take risks and we knew that having to score at six or seven an over for a guy coming new to the crease was going to be difficult.
"Their openers batted extremely well, but not quite at the pace they needed to to be able to dictate the game."
The coach had praise for the side's two test debutants, allrounder Colin de Grandhomme and opener Jeet Raval, who both played significant parts in the series win.
"They fitted into the group beautifully, on and off the park - it was a seamless introduction.
"Certainly Colin's added to our bowling depth - we now have four different types of seamers which really complement each other.
"And Jeets, just a continuation of his decision-making from the first test - getting chucked in on a pretty tough wicket in gloomy conditions I thought he was excellent.
"They are experienced cricketers - they have been through the mill a little bit, had some ups and downs."