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Pakistan escape unhurt as bad light forces draw in Karachi




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Pakistan escaped a defeat as bad light came to their rescue while defending 138 in the last session of Day 5 of the first Test against New Zealand. Pakistan captain Babar Azam declared the second innings on 311/8 with a lead of 137 runs in the third session. New Zealand started their innings aggressively in the hope of a win but bad light forced the officials to call stumps when they were 61/1 in just 7.3 overs.

After resuming from 77/2 on Day 5, Pakistan lost two more wickets in the first session and were struggling at 100/4. But the veteran wicketkeeper batter Sarfaraz Ahmed and opener Imam-ul-Haq avoided further mishaps with a crucial 85-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Sarfaraz (53 off 76) scored another fifty after his return to Test cricket but was caught out behind off Ish Sodhi immediately after reaching to the milestone. Sodhi took two more wickets, including Imam-ul-Haq’s (96 off 206), in quick succession to put New Zealand in the driving seat. 

However, Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Wasim put in a match-defining partnership of 71 runs for the eighth wicket to turn the match for a draw result. Shakeel scored 55* off 108 balls and Wasim scored 43 runs off just 57 balls as Pakistan declared their innings at 311/8 with a 137-run lead. The move came as a surprise as a minimum of 15-over gameplay remained in the third session.

As expected, New Zealand went after a result and batted with an aggressive approach as they promoted Michael Bracewell to open alongside Devon Conway. Abrar Ahmed bowled out Bracewell in first over but Tom Latham and Conway continued attacking as New Zealand reached to 61 in just 7.3 overs. But the bad light forced the match to a draw result. Kane Williamson, who smashed a double hundred in the first innings, won the Player of the Match award.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Day 5 of PAK vs NZ 1st Test: