New Zealand captain Tim Southee congratulates Ish Sodhi who took six wickets in the second innings during the 1st Test cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Karachi on December 30, 2022. Photo Credit: AP
Bad light halted New Zealand’s winning run in an entertaining final session at the National Stadium on Friday after New Zealand drew the first Test against Pakistan.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam challenged Pakistan’s second innings declaration at 311–8 in the final session of the contest.
This left New Zealand needing 138 runs to win in the last 15 overs, and the tourists were 61–1 in the eighth over, before bad light forced a draw.
In his first match after taking over the Test captaincy of New Zealand, Tim Southee said, “I would not say that the victory was out of hand.” “We had to hang in there and take our chances. It was nice to lose the toss and get the chance.”
Pakistan were on the back foot after losing a 174-run lead in the first innings and their immediate goal was to erase the deficit after starting on 77-2 on the final day.
Imam-ul-Haq top-scored for the home side with 96 and Sarfaraz Ahmed (53) registered his second half-century in his return match but was dismissed by Pakistan’s lower order.
Saud Shakeel remained unbeaten on 55 and number nine batsman Mohammad Wasim contributed 43 runs to frustrate New Zealand.
Ish Sodhi’s career best
Ish Sodhi returned with a career-best 6-86 for New Zealand.
Babar sprung a surprise with his late declaration and scored as New Zealand reacted positively despite losing Michael Bracewell in the first over.
Tom Latham scored an unbeaten 35 from 24 balls, but the lights faded rapidly and the sides agreed to a draw.
“As I said at the toss, we wanted to get the result and that’s why we went for the declaration,” Babar said at the presentation ceremony. “But the light wasn’t good enough, so (it ended in a draw).”
Kane Williamson was named player of the match for his 200 not out in his first Test since relinquishing the captaincy with the red ball.
Williamson said of his role in the team, “I still have a lot of chats with Tim.” “It’s good to spend some time there and contribute … You have to do something different here than you do back home.”
The second Test is also starting from Monday in Karachi itself.