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:
A very interesting and brave declaration by Pakistan almost ends in disaster with NZ on a roll at 1/61 and pushing for a win before bad light stopped play. No doubt Babar Azam is feeling very relived. #PakvsNZ
— Stephen Sargent (@sjsargent_) December 30, 2022
Babar Azam said “We wanted to see a result but light was not good enough”.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) December 30, 2022
Test cricket is not cup of tea for every captain & Babar Azam is currently in a period to learn captaincy in test cricket. He has produced great results as a whiteball captain and so gives a hope to learn from past mistakes & do wonders for Pakistan in test cricket aswell #PAKvNZ
— Faiz Fazel (@ThatCrick8Guy) December 30, 2022
Kane Williamson Winning Player Of the Match award for Outstanding performance#PakvsNZ #KaneWilliamson #CricketTwitter pic.twitter.com/rvu8wKXj5h
— Abdulla Mulla (@Abdulla53916628) December 30, 2022
Pakistan have kept their slim hopes alive of reaching the World Test Championship final with his declaration. They need to win here. #PAKvNZ
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) December 30, 2022
After a fascinating final session, the first Test is drawn 🇵🇰🇳🇿#PAKvNZ | #TayyariKiwiHai pic.twitter.com/632a3vXyUz
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 30, 2022
Michael Bracewell promoted to open with Devon Conway as we chase 138 to win after Pakistan declared on 311/8. 15 overs remaining in the day. Follow play LIVE in NZ with @skysportnz and @SENZ_Radio. LIVE scoring | #PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/CpmyTtaeZd
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 30, 2022
A resilient fifty from Saud Shakeel 👏#PAKvNZ | #WTC23 | 📝 pic.twitter.com/9rTnYRkQfc
— ICC (@ICC) December 30, 2022
Fair to say Sarfaraz Ahmed is giving the bowler a look at all three#PAKvNZ pic.twitter.com/wxsDI24a35
— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) December 30, 2022