New Blackcaps spin hero Ajaz Patel's three-years toiling in domestic cricket paid dividends with his match-winning performance against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
The Central Districts left-arm orthodox bowler took 5/59 in the second innings as New Zealand bowled Pakistan out for 171 to win the first test.
Patel made his first-class debut for the Stags in 2015 and has been the leading wicket-taker in four-day cricket since, taking 194 wickets at 29.82.
That form earned the 30-year-old a deserved national call for the three-test series, a selection rewarded with a man-of-the-match outing.
Blackcaps coach Gary Stead has been impressed with Patel's professionalism, noting how unnerved he was despite the occasion.
"This is my first tour away with Ajaz, he's got some experience on his side and I think that has really helped him," Stead said.
"He is very calm under pressure and that isn't easy during your first test match but he has that maturity that has really helped him."
Stead was also in awe of the typically gutsy effort from Neil Wagner who bowled 13-overs on the bounce, in tandem with Patel, taking 2/27 including the match-turning scalp of Asad Shafiq.
The 46-year-old Cantabrian described the duo's efforts as 'phenomenal'.
"Neil's lion-hearted effort, he is just renowned for that and he did again for us in this test," Stead noted.
"The bowling partnership there was phenomenal, bowling 22-23 overs in a row was a sterling effort and I am really proud of the way they went."
Stead said he always felt his side were a chance of getting a positive result, even after being rolled for 153 on the first day.
The nature of the wicket caused difficulties for batsmen establishing themselves, leading to wickets falling in clusters.
Stead asserted any lead over 150 was defendable as long as the Blackcaps competed for every single ball.
"I always believed we were in with a chance with the way the match had played out with wickets falling regularly," he said.
"To be in that position to give ourselves a sniff to win the match in the final session of play was all we could really do and I guess you just let the cricketing gods decide which way it will go and we were fortunate it went ours.
"You're not going to win too many test matches scoring 153 in the first innings so we always had to keep fighting and fighting
"My message centred around if we can lose all those wickets in clumps then so can they, as long as we sustained pressure.
"The game could have gone either way but it was nice to come out on the right side of it. It's only part of the job done - we have two more test matches ahead and I'm pretty sure they will both have results."
The second test starts on Saturday night in Dubai.