New Zealand vs Pakistan – 2nd Test 2023. National stadium in Karachi.
Pakistan faced New Zealand in the second game of the Test series. Played in the National Stadium in Karachi, it was the final match of two match series.
The first game of the series had resulted in a draw.
In the first test of New Zealand vs Pakistan, Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat first. They scored 438 in their first innings, with centuries from Babar Azam and Agha Salman.
New Zealand in reply scored 9-612(declare) with Kane Williamson standing unbeaten with a 200*. Tom Latham scored a 100 along with a 92 from Devon Conway, the tail also chipped in.
For Pakistan, Abrar Ahmed picked a five wicket haul.
Pakistan in their second innings scored 311-8 and surprisingly declared. New Zealand needed around 138 runs to chase within 15 overs but bad light spoiled the party and the match was drawn.
New Zealand vs Pakistan – 2nd Test, New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat
PLAYING XI – New Zealand vs Pakistan – 2nd Test
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam (c), Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Agha Salman, Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah, Mir Hamza, Abrar Ahmed
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wk), Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (c), Matt Henry, Ajaz Patel
PITCH REPORT – New Zealand vs Pakistan – 2nd Test
The National Stadium’s pitch is a batting-friendly track with some help for the swing bowlers. There is not much for the spinners earlier on.
NZ First Innings
New Zealand started off well with 134 run partnership for the opening stand. Devon Conway scored a sublime century. The good start was continued by a decent partnership between Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls. However, Pakistan struck back and took New Zealand from 234-1 to 279-6. Tom Blundell scored a fifty. The kiwis added a mammoth 109 for the final wicket. Matt Henry looked good with his 68, taking the team total to 449-10.
PAK First Innings
Pakistan got off to a patchy start with 3 for 99. Saud Shakeel looked to steady the ship with Sarfraz Ahmed. The pair added 150 runs for the partnership. Pakistan ended their innings with 408-10 and Shakeel was unbeaten at 125. Ish Sodhi and Ajaz Patel picked three wickets each.
NZ Second Innings
New Zealand lost Conway for a duck early. Latham built a 114 run partnership with Williamson. But the Pakistani bowlers struck back. They took New Zealand from 114-2 to 128-4. Tom Blundell along with Michael Bracewell stitched together a 127 run partnership. The kiwis finally declared at 277-5 towards the end of Day 4’s play.
PAK Second Innings
Pakistan got a target of 319 which they had to chase within the entire Day 5 and a few remaining overs of Day 4. They got off to a hurtful start with losing 2 wickets in 2.5 overs for zero runs. This marked the end of Day 4’s play. Imam Ul Haq was the first one to go in Day 5, leaving the team at 35-3.
When the team hoped for some resistance from Babar Azam, he disappointed yet again. It was finally left upon Sarfraz Ahmed along with the lower order to provide some substance to the chase. Sarfraz batted phenomenally by scoring a 118 with some support from the tail.
But his fightback ended when Pakistan needed another 32 runs and had two wickets in hand. The last pair brought the required runs down to 15. And that is when the umpires decided that the light was too poor for the play to be continued. The match along with the series ended in a draw.
Positives of the game
Sarfraz Ahmed – it was his comeback series and first ever test series on home soil. He scored the highest in the series with 335 runs in 4 innings. This included 3 fifties and a final innings hundred. He was adjudged with both the Player of the Match and Player of the series awards. Unlike other batters, he looked really comfortable on the crease.
Sarfaraz Ahmed: “I was part of the team for four years and despite not getting chances here I was continuing to play well elsewhere. I was very tensed in the first Test, but the boys and captain gave me confidence. Karachi crowd has always supported me. And always supported the team. Request them to come for the ODIs too.”
The ODIs start from the 9th of January. Till then, take care and love cricket!