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Kane Williamson ‘surprised’ by Babar Azam’s declaration in Karachi Test




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Former New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has said that he was astounded by Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s move to declare the innings with just an hour left to play in the first Test in Karachi. The encounter ended in a draw after bad light stopped play in the final session of Day 5 at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi.

Pakistan declared their second innings at 311/8 as Imam-ul-Haq scored 96 off 206. Further, Mohammad Wasim Jr’s and Saud Shakeel added 71 runs for the eighth wicket to take Pakistan’s tally ahead. However,m with an hour left, Babar decided to declare their innings, setting New Zealand a target of 138 runs in 15 overs.

“Saud Shakeel steered Pakistan safe when a defeat could have been on the cards, as Ish Sodhi ended with career best figures of 6/86. Then came the biggest surprise, as Babar declared with an hour to play and dangled the carrot for the Kiwis. A gutsy, creditable declaration to keep the crowds entertained, and Latham and Conway did entertain by going into T20 mode. However, bad light played spoilsport and after just 7.3 overs of the final innings, we had to call it a draw,” told Williamson in the post-match interview.

It is worth mentioning that, Sodhi relished stupendous bowling figures of 37-11-86-6 for the side. In response to the bold target set by the hosts, the Black Caps came out all guns blazing and tried to take the match away from Pakistan as Devon Conway and Tom Latham put an unbeaten partnership of 52 runs off 6.3 overs. However, that was it for the Kiwis as bad light stopped play once and for all as the contest ended in a draw.