Pakistan salvaged a draw in the second Test against New Zealand in Dubai on Friday after being set a challenging target of 261 off 72 overs on the back of a brilliant 100 by Ross Taylor.
The early loss of four Pakistani wickets meant all results were possible come teatime but in the end Pakistan finished 65 runs short of victory when bad light ended play five overs before the scheduled close.
Asad Shafiq scored 41/not out and Sarfraz Ahmed an unbeaten 24 as Pakistan finished on 196/5, with the draw preserving their 1/0 lead in the three-match series following last week’s 248-run win in Abu Dhabi.
It was an exciting finish before an 8,000-strong crowd, who anticipated a Pakistan win after New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum had sportingly declared his side’s second innings on 250/9. That was made possible after Taylor notched a brilliant 104 for his 12th Test century.
“Credit to New Zealand,” said Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq. “They showed a lot of improvement after the first game. I’m a little bit disappointed because had we taken our chances we could have had a better result. We had planned the chase, to bat normally in the first 40 overs and then step up, but we lost three quick wickets and then Younis [Khan] got out so it became tough.”
McCullum praised New Zealand’s resolve, saying: “Obviously it was a very, very good Test match. It was a great effort and I think the toss was really important and we managed to put on a good total and that really lifted us. I am proud of the boys.”
Khan (44) and Shafiq lifted Pakistan from a precarious 75/4 after Trent Boult had dismissed Shan Masood (40) and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (0) in his successive overs.
Pakistan, needing 130 in the last 20 overs, picked up the tempo with Shafiq hitting two boundaries off Mark Craig but the off-spinner derailed the chase when he dismissed Khan, who hit three sixes and two boundaries in his 84-ball knock.
The third and final Test starts in Sharjah on Nov. 26.