PAK vs NZ 2nd Test ends in a thrilling draw
The second and final Test between Pakistan and New Zealand ended in a draw on Friday. Resuming from 0/2, the hosts lost Imam-ul-Haq and skipper Babar Azam before Sarfaraz Ahmed walked in. He forged a 123-run partnership with Saud Shakeel to keep NZ at a bay. Pakistani tailenders saved the day as the hosts wound up the series with a 0-0 scoreline (304/9).
How did the second Test pan out?
Electing to bat, the Black Caps rallied their way to 449/10. Tom Latham and Devon Conway were the architects of the same. For Pakistan, spinner Abrar Ahmed (4/149) was the best bet. The hosts then racked up 408, courtesy of a fighting ton from Saud Shakeel. Kiwis then tallied 277/5d, setting a 319-run target. Sarfaraz played an invaluable part as Pakistan drew the game.
Twin fifties for Latham
Tom Latham was one of NZ's stand-out performers, striking 71 and 62. He has raced to 4,904 runs across 70 matches while averaging a decent 41.91. The southpaw now holds 25 fifties to his name. Notably, Latham came up with scores of 113 and 35* in the last Test. He clocked his 13th Test hundred.
An interesting feat for Conway
Opening batter Conway scored a fine 122 to get the Kiwis close to 450. He notched his fourth Test ton. He was out for a duck later. As per ESPNcricinfo, this was the 12th instance of a Kiwi batter recording a ton and a duck in the same Test. Conway has compiled 1,150 runs across 12 matches at 54.76.
A clinical knock from Imam-ul-Haq
Imam-ul-Haq was among the runs for Pakistan in the first innings as he brought up his seventh Test fifty. The opening batter scored 83 off 165 deliveries, striking 10 fours and a six. Imam, however, fell short in the second innings. He scored merely 12 runs. The southpaw has gone past 1,400 runs (1,417) while averaging 39.36.
Blundell, Bracewell put Pakistan under the cosh
Wicket-keeper batter Tom Blundell whacked 51 and 74 in the first and second innings, respectively. The efforts have gotten him to 1,364 runs at 42.62. He now has nine fifties (100s: 3). Michael Bracewell, who was dismissed for a duck, bashed a 119-ball 74*. It was his maiden Test fifty. Notably, the pair added 127 runs in the second innings, getting NZ to 277/5d.
Career-best scores for Henry, Ajaz
Pacer Matt Henry whipped eight fours and two sixes to stay unharmed on 68*. Notably, he struck at 83.95. He clocked his highest score in Tests, having broken the previous best of 66 against Australia. He notched his third half-century in Tests. His partner Ajaz chipped in with a 78-ball 35, his personal best in the format.
100-plus stand for the 10th wicket!
Henry and Ajaz forged a 104-run stand, taking NZ from 345/9 to 449/10 in the first innings. As per ESPNcricinfo, it's the sixth-highest partnership by NZ for the 10th wicket, after Nathan Astle-Danny Morrison's 106* vs England in 1997. Meanwhile, it's the fifth-highest partnership for the 10th wicket against Pakistan in Test cricket, behind West Indies' Carl Hooper-Courtney Walsh's 106 in 1993.
Key numbers for Pakistani bowlers
Abrar claimed figures worth 4/149 and 1/103 in the concluded Test. The leg-spinner now owns 28 scalps in four Tests, averaging 33.64. Naseem Shah claimed 3/71 and 1/43. The right-arm pacer has pocketed 42 wickets in 15 matches at 36.14.
The wait continues for NZ!
Kiwis last won a Test series in Pakistan in 1969, beating the hosts by a 1-0 margin. Meanwhile, NZ's last win in Pakistan dates back to November 1996. The visitors took a 1-0 lead, only for Pakistan to level the terms later.
Sarfaraz fights back!
Sarfaraz was at his lethal best as he clocked his fourth Test ton in the second innings (118). Notably, Sarfaraz has four successive 50-plus scores in Tests since his return. Before his long-awaited hundred, his last three knocks read: 78, 53, and 86. He has raced to 2,992 runs in the format while averaging 38.85. He owns 21 fifties and four tons.
Maiden Test century for Shakeel
27-year-old Shakeel has been a promising campaigner since his Test debut. He clocked his maiden Test hundred (125*), followed by a gritty 32 in the run chase. He was instrumental behind a mammoth 150-run stand with Sarfaraz in the first innings, piloting Pakistan past 400. Shakeel has scored 780 Test runs at 72.50 (50s: 5, 100s: 1).