Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Despite a spectacular century from New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, Pakistan managed to hang on and end the match as a draw.
Starting out the day on 167/6, Taylor and Mark Craig converted their one-run partnership into a 60-run partnership, during which Taylor brought up his 12th Test century, before Craig was caught by Rahat Ali at long-on off the bowling of Yasir Shah for 34.
Shah struck again just two balls later when Taylor was stumped by Sarfraz Ahmed for 104 off 133 balls, which included 12 boundaries.
Tim Southee made a quickfire 20 before he was caught by Azhar Ali at deep cover off the bowling of Zulfiqar Babar.
Following Southee’s dismissal, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum decided to declare with his side on 250/9, which set Pakistan a target of 261 to win.
Shah registered his maiden five-wicket haul, while Babar picked up four wickets.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Chasing 261 to win, Pakistan got off to a poor start as opening batsman Taufeeq Umar was caught behind off the bowling of Southee for four runs.
Azhar Ali and Shan Masood made up for the early loss of Umar with a 62-run partnership before Ali was caught by James Neesham at cover off the bowling of Craig for 24.
Masood ended up making 40 before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Trent Boult.
Masood decided to review the decision, but replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit leg stump. This led to the third umpire upholding the original decision.
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq failed to save his team as he was caught behind off the bowling of Boult for a duck.
Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq stabilised the innings with a 74-run partnership before Khan was caught by Taylor at first slip off the bowling of Craig for 44.
After Shafiq and Ahmed put together an unbeaten 47-run partnership, both captain decided to end the match as a draw.
Shafiq finished on 41 off 116 balls, which included six boundaries, while Ahmed remained undefeated on 24 off 23 deliveries, which included three boundaries.
Boult and Criag snapped up two wickets apiece, while Southee claimed one.
McCullum was pleased that the match ended as a draw, and said: “It was a very good Test match. Both teams came out with the right result. Credit to Pakistan for putting it under a lot of pressure. The toss was really important. We followed the blueprint that Pakistan have been using. We played a brand of cricket which allowed us to get in a position where we could have won the Test match. I am proud of the boys since we can take the confidence from this match. The bowlers were outstanding throughout the match. To execute your plans in conditions like this, I was pretty delighted. We are a pretty young team and the confidence is going to serve us well.”
Ul-Haq meanwhile was disappointed that his side couldn’t win the match, and said: “A little bit (disappointed). We could have done better. The major difference was the dropped chances. Things could have been different had we taken those. We were planning to chase it down, bat normally till 40-45 overs and then promote Sarfraz but we lost quick wickets in the middle. Sarfraz is in the form of life, his confidence is increasing by the day. The way he played, you could never say that it was a difficult pitch. He could give more winning chances in the future. Just second series (for Yasir) and it’s good for us that he is improving. Their spinners took two wickets on the last day but Yasir took five. Full marks to NZ. They really improved after the first game. They put us under pressure with the bowling. [Failure] is part of the game. Sometimes you are not thinking and you get centuries and sometimes you get out when you are in good form.”
Taylor was named Man of the Match, and said: “I was pretty rusty in the first Test. So it was quite nice to spend some time [in the middle]. It was a good Test. Pakistan spinners bowled very well and put us under a lot of pressure. When you play on a pitch like that, there will always be a ball with your number, so you got to keep scoring.”