KARACHI: Following the final day’s play in National Stadium Karachi between Pakistan and New Zealand, several Pakistani cricketers met New Zealand’s master batter Kane Williamson and sought tips from him.
As soon as the match and post-match presentation concluded, Pakistani cricketers Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Abdullah Shafiq, and Shan Masood gathered around Kane Williamson and started discussing various aspects of batting with the top Kiwi batter.
The players could be heard talking about batting longer in five-day cricket, footwork, and other aspects of batting.
At one point, when Saud asked Williamson about his techniques, the Kiwi cricketer said “it is not easy to bowl you out,” before telling Pakistani batters about the areas where he can work further.
Williamson advised Pakistani batters to be patient and remain focused on the game. He also spoke about foot movement in different conditions and shared his experience of playing on different wickets in different countries.
Seeing batters talking to Williamson, Pakistan’s batting coach Mohammad Yousuf also joined the gathering and started discussing various aspects with the New Zealand batter.
Pakistan's last pair Naseem Shah and Abrar Ahmed survived 21 balls in fading light while Ahmed hit a fighting century to deprive New Zealand of a victory, bringing the second Test to a sensational draw.
New Zealand were in sight of a series-clinching victory after dismissing Sarfaraz for a career-best 118 with 39 balls remaining in the match.
But as dusk settled, Naseem scored 15 and Ahmed seven to guide Pakistan to 304-9 in pursuit of a 319-run target when umpires Alex Wharf and Aleem Dar declared the light unfeasible to continue with three overs remaining.
The two-match series ended 0-0 after the first Test — also in Karachi — ended in a draw, depriving New Zealand of their first series win in Pakistan for 53 years.
New Zealand took the second new ball and with the fourth delivery Tim Southee dismissed Agha Salman for 30 to break a 70-run stand for the seventh wicket before Bracewell dismissed Ahmed to raise hopes of a win.
But it was Ahmed whose fourth Test century — first in eight years — which set Pakistan on course for a fighting draw.
Pakistan were staring at defeat at lunch with the total on 125-5, but Ahmed led the fight back during a sixth-wicket stand of 123 in three hours with Saud Shakeel who made 32.
Pakistan reached 179-5 at tea, needing a further 140 runs in the 31 overs — a point from where Ahmed sped up the run rate by smashing three boundaries and a six off spinner Michael Bracewell before driving pacer Matt Henry for two to reach his hundred.
But once Pakistan lost Ahmed, Hasan Ali (five) and Salman in the space of 14 runs, the target went out of reach.
The previous best winning chase in a Test in Pakistan was 314 by the home team against Australia in Karachi in 1994.
Sacked as captain of all three formats in October 2019, Ahmed staged a comeback in the drawn first Test — also in his hometown of Karachi — and top-scored the series with 335 runs with three fifties and a hundred.
In all, Sarfaraz batted for four hours and 48 minutes, hitting nine boundaries and a six — an improvement on his previous highest of 112 made against the same opponents in Dubai eight years ago.
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