Sarfaraz Ahmed slams fourth consecutive fifty-plus score since Test return
Pakistan's wicket-keeper batter Sarfaraz Ahmed slammed his fourth Test century on Day 5 of the ongoing second match against New Zealand. He swept Ish Sodhi for a boundary to bring up his fifty (62 deliveries) before converting the same into a hundred. It's his fourth consecutive fifty-plus score in Tests since his return. He added 123 runs alongside Saud Shakeel for the fifth wicket.
Why does this story matter?
- Before this series, Sarfaraz last played a Test for Pakistan in January 2019 (against South Africa).
- The ongoing series is his first Test assignment at home. He has been all class, with four back-to-back fifty-plus scores.
- Sarfaraz, who replaced Mohammad Rizwan, scored 86 and 53 in the opener, followed by 78 in the first innings of the decider. And now, he has a century.
A look at his Test numbers
Sarfaraz made his debut against Australia in 2010. He has since amassed over 2,900 runs in 51 matches. He has 21 fifties besides four tons. Before this knock, all of his three Test hundreds came in 2014. At home, Sarfaraz has gone past the 300-run mark. Meanwhile, he has hoarded 1,479 and 1,178 runs at away and neutral venues, averaging 32.86 and 42.07, respectively.
How has the second Test panned out?
Batting first, NZ racked up 449/10. Tom Latham and Devon Conway were the architects of the same. The hosts then amassed 408, courtesy of a fighting ton from Saud Shakeel. Kiwis tallied 277/5d, setting a 319-run target. Pakistan, who lost two wickets on Day 4, have put up a fight thanks to Sarfaraz. They need less than 100 runs to win the Test.
Can Pakistan shrug aside their win-less streak?
The Babar Azam-led side certainly has a point to prove in the ongoing contest as they endured a horrendous run in home Tests last year. Australia defeated them 1-0 in March. Pakistan hosted England in December and lost all three Tests. As the opening Test against NZ ended in a draw, Pakistan must win the Karachi Test to seal the series.