First Pakistan-New Zealand Test ends in a draw after dramatic finish

Pakistan had set a target of 138 runs

By Web Desk
December 30, 2022
Saud Shakeel scored an impressive fifty - PCB

The first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand has ended in a draw after a dramatic finish in Karachi on Friday. 

Chasing a target of 138 runs in 15 overs, after a bold declaration by Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, New Zealand were restricted to 61-1 after bad light stopped play.  

Despite the odds stacked against his side in the run-chase, opener Tom Latham took the attack to the Pakistan bowlers and remained unbeaten on 35 runs in 24 balls. 

Abrar Ahmed took the only wicket to fall in New Zealand's second innings for Pakistan. 

"As you know, we wanted to get a result, as I said at the toss, and we went for the declaration. But the light was not good enough, so it ended in a draw," Azam said during the post-match presentation ceremony.

"Wasim and Saud brought us back in the match. Credit to them for playing positive cricket. Saud played a mature innings and we look forward to him playing in the future," he added. 

Earlier, Pakistan had declared their second innings at 311-8 and set New Zealand a target of 138 runs. 

Pakistan were in a spot of bother after being reduced to 206-7 but Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Wasim Jr stitched a valuable partnership of 71 runs for the eight wicket to keep the home side alive.

Shakeel was unbeaten on 55 runs at the time of declaration, meanwhile Wasim was dismissed after scoring 43 runs.

Earlier, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi registered his first five-wicket haul Friday as New Zealand pressed for victory over Pakistan.

Sodhi finished with figures of 6-86 in 37 overs. 

The 30-year-old, playing his first Test in four years, turned the match in New Zealand´s favour with three wickets in the post-lunch session to leave Pakistan on 249-7 at tea, with a lead of only 75 runs.

He dismissed Sarfaraz Ahmed (53), Agha Salman (six) and Imam-ul-Haq (96) in the space of 27 balls for the addition of just 21 runs.

Haq and Sarfaraz had added a defiant 85 runs for the fifth wicket and raised hopes of salvaging a draw for the home team before Sodhi struck.

He had Sarfaraz caught behind, bowled Salman, then got Haq stumped to leave Pakistan on 206-7.

Haq, who survived lbw referrals off the bowler on 58 and 74, cracked 10 boundaries and a six in his sixth half-century, while Sarfaraz had seven hits to the rope.

So incensed was he by his dismissal, Haq smashed a chair with his bat on the way to the dressing room.

Resuming on 77-2, Pakistan lost nightwatchman Nauman Ali early, trapped leg-before by spinner Michael Bracewell.

Then skipper Babar Azam — who scored 161 in Pakistan´s first innings of 438 — was out the same way to Sodhi for 14.