Karachi Test Ends In A Draw Between Pakistan And New Zealand

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Friday at the National Bank Cricket Arena, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, and Sarfraz Ahmed scored valiant half-centuries to prevent New Zealand from taking a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series. This victory broke Pakistan’s four-match losing streak at home.

Pakistan seemed hopeless as they collapsed to 206 for 7 (32 runs ahead) with 49 overs left on the fifth and final day, needing 97 runs to make New Zealand bat again.

Pakistan declared their second innings at 311 for eight, thanks to partnerships for the eighth and ninth wickets by Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Wasim Junior and Saud and Mir Hamza, respectively.

As the light began to go, the two sides shook hands having set New Zealand a challenging but not impossible aim of 138 runs in 17 overs. At that point, the visitors were 61 for 1 after 7.3 overs.

After leaving Saud Shakeel to bat out the last 49 overs of the day with the seamers, New Zealand were on track to end a 53-year victory streak, which had begun in Lahore in 1969.

After failing twice earlier this month to help Pakistan win Tests against England, Saud proved he was up to the challenge by returning undefeated on 55 after facing 108 balls and hitting seven fours and a six in 138 minutes of careful and hard play.

Not only did Saud score his sixth half-century in the fourth Test, but he also put up 75 runs for the eighth wicket with Mohammad Wasim Junior off 111 balls and 34 runs for the ninth wicket with Mir Hamza off 82 balls without losing a wicket.

Wasim’s early career as an international cricketer was highlighted by a performance in which he not only survived 57 balls but also scored 43 runs with five fours and a six. For 34 balls, Mir Hamza held off the New Zealand bowlers, allowing him to score three without being dismissed.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan were 77 for 2 when seamer Noman Ali and skipper Babar Azam returned to the dressing room in a span of 34 balls, putting the home team in a precarious position at 100 for 4 with still 74 runs needed to make New Zealand to bat again. Leg before wickets were called against both Michael Bracewell and Ish Sodhi.

Imam and Sarfaraz came together to save Pakistan, contributing 85 runs for the fifth wicket before crisis hit again.

Soon after completing his second half-century of the match, Sarfaraz was caught at the wicket trying to play a shot to a wide Sodhi ball. Similarly, first innings centurion Salman Ali Agha missed a wrong-un from Sodhi and was bowled. Finally, Imam’s courageous effort came to an end when he was tricked by Sodhi and also was neatly stumped by Tom Blundell.

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