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Pakistan vs New Zealand, 2nd Test, Day 5: Sarfaraz Ahmed century sees draw in Karachi

Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed in action
Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed in action

In great touch with the bat, the local-boy Sarfraz Ahmed played a dream of an innings to take the game into the last half hour for a thrilling finish at Karachi.

Match Summary

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 2nd Test, New Zealand tour of Pakistan

Pakistan 408/10 (133 ov) & 304/9 (90 ov)

New Zealand 449/10 (131 ov) & 277/5d (82 ov)

Result - Match Drawn


New Zealand had clearly been the more proactive side in this contest and by setting the home side a target of 319 in just over three sessions, could not prize out the remaining eight wickets they needed on the last day.

Sarfraz Ahmed, with three fifties in as many innings, walked in at 77-4, after Bracewell had claimed the key wicket of Pakistan captain, strangled down the leg-side. Tom Latham, the stand-in wicket-keeper taking a superb catch to give New Zealand a crucial break. Within ten minutes Shan Masood perished to an ill-judged stroke in his comeback trail, to the same bowler. Having been beaten few times on the outside edge, he charged down the wicket and without getting to the pitch of the ball, simply went on in his movement, only to spoon a high catch behind the bowler. Left-handed batsman’s contribution of 35 was the highest of his six innings, since returning to the Test side, a few weeks ago.

Not for the first time this season Saud Shakeel was asked to do the repair work with half of Pakistan side back in the pavilion with 80 runs on the board. A maiden Test hundred (125 not out) on the third day was a display of a batsman high in confidence. On the last-day pitch he was asked to hold one end to keep his side’s slim hopes of surviving alive against an attack featuring three front-line spinners.

Sarfraz on the other end looked quite assured with his footwork and shot selection. Having reached the boundary on three occasions quite early, he was keen to have an impact again today following his 78 runs in the first innings. The wicket-keeper was proving a perfect foil for Shakeel as the two batsmen steered Pakistan to 125-5, with a stand of 45 in good time, at the end of an extended opening session.

At the start of the post-lunch session, New Zealand now needed to claim five wickets in the remaining 55 overs and Pakistan if they fancied themselves another 194 runs. A bold declaration in the fourth evening by Tim Southee, has resulted in creating opportunity for both sides to win the match and the series. A left-right combination has worked well as Sarfraz-Shakeel sixth-wicket stand kept the home side hopes of an unlikely Test victory on a fifth day surface offering some spin and a touch of variable bounce. Sarfraz brought up his fourth fifty of the series, with his trade mark sweep fetched from wide of off stump and would need to convert into three figures. At drinks a simple

equation of 159 runs in 42 overs was in front of Pakistan to aim for, with both batsmen well set. Although the run-rate had dropped, New Zealand failed to dislodge the two as their partnership rose to 99 by the tea break and Pakistan now needing another 140.

In the final session Shakeel somehow failing to read the situation, remained in his shell for too long. After having shown some intent with a boundary he was out trying to run the ball through third man. His dismissal could be seen as blessing in disguise for he over-played the role of anchor with 32 off 146 balls in a 123-run stand for the sixth wicket. Sarfraz had by now moved into the next gear and neared his brilliant hundred as Pakistan’s hopes rested on his shoulders. In Agha Salman he found another batsman in good form and with them together the tempo changed in favour of the batting side.

Sarfraz brought up his fourth Test hundred amidst great ovation from the crowd and it was no ordinary achievement for he had been out of the red ball for almost four years. Salman after playing so well for his 30 off 40 balls was victim of a rush of blood. After playing so well for 175 balls, Sarfraz attempted a flick and was caught at leg slip by Williamson for a splendid 118. With Southee going in for the kill, the field was bought up and three lusty blows, 2 fours and a six from Naseem Shah kept the crowd interested. Naseem and Abrar hung on for 21 deliveries before the umpires came together, 3 overs before the allocated time to call time on a fantastic Test Match. A great game for the neutrals, showing Test Cricket still holds its own in this day and age.

Match Stats    

New Zealand 1st Innings Fall of wickets: 1-134 (Tom Latham - 35.1 ov), 2-234 (Devon Conway - 62.2 ov), 3-240 (Kane Williamson - 63.5 ov), 4-255 (Daryl Mitchell - 68.5 ov), 5-278 (Henry Nicholls - 78.6 ov), 6-279 (Michael Bracewell - 79.3 ov), 7-309 (Ish Sodhi - 91.4 ov), 8-340 (Tom Blundell - 104.1 ov), 9-345 (Tim Southee - 106.1 ov), 10-449 (Ajaz Patel - 130.6 ov)

Pakistan 1st Innings Fall of wickets: 1-27 (Abdullah Shafique - 7.5 ov), 2-56 (Shan Masood - 10.6 ov), 3-99 (Babar Azam - 24.2 ov), 4-182 (Imam ul Haq - 59.5 ov), 5-332 (Sarfaraz Ahmed - 99.3 ov), 6-385 (Agha Salman - 124.3 ov), 7-393 (Hasan Ali - 126.2 ov), 8-397 (Naseem Shah - 128.4 ov), 9-397 (Mir Hamza - 128.5 ov), 10-408 (Abrar Ahmed - 132.6 ov)

New Zealand 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Devon Conway - 1.1 ov), 2-114 (Tom Latham - 34.3 ov), 3-114 (Kane Williamson - 35.3 ov), 4-128 (Henry Nicholls - 42.4 ov), 5-255 (Tom Blundell - 79.1 ov)

Pakistan 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Abdullah Shafique - 0.2 ov), 2-0 (Mir Hamza - 2.5 ov), 3-35 (Imam ul Haq - 12.1 ov), 4-77 (Babar Azam - 22.4 ov), 5-80 (Shan Masood - 24.3 ov), 6-203 (Saud Shakeel - 67.5 ov), 7-273 (Agha Salman - 81.4 ov), 8-282 (Hasan Ali - 84.4 ov), 9-287 (Sarfaraz Ahmed - 86.3 ov)

Playing XIs

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam (C), Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK), Agha Salman, Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah, Mir Hamza, Abrar Ahmed

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (WK), Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (C), Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel

Match Details

Date: Monday, January 2, 2023 05:00

Venue: Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan

Toss: New Zealand won the toss & elected to bat

Officials Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) Alex Wharf (England) Ahsan Raza (Pakistan TV)

Match Referee: David Boon (Australia)

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