Pakistan’s cricketers who have been in impressive form of late, were looking to carry on their good form against New Zealand in the second test. The ‘hosts’ outplayed the Kiwis in the first game as Pakistan won by 248 runs. New Zealand were looking to get revenge in this one.
The New Zealanders batted first and got their innings off to a solid start. Brendan McCullum and Tom Latham put on 77 for the first wicket – but the opening partnership was ended by debutant Ehsan Adil, Adil had New Zealand captain McCullum caught for an attractive looking 43. The former wicket keeper hit four 4’s and two sixes in his knock.
Pakistan were sensing ‘blood’ after breaking the first wicket partnership – but Kane Williamson and Latham had other ideas. The pair put on a handy 76 run stand as New Zealand were looking to regroup after the loss of their captain. Zulfiquar Babar had other ideas – and bowled Williamson for 32.
Frustratingly for the Pakistani’s New Zealand were starting to take control of this match with some useful partnerships. Another 70 run stand the Kiwis lead them 200 for the loss of just three wickets. Pakistan at this point were probably looking to restrict New Zealand to a total they could get close to when their time comes to bat.
A mini collapse for the Black caps saw Tom Latham and Corey Anderson both return to the pavilion with the score stuck on 245. At this point Pakistan must have been ‘licking’ their lips as most of New Zealand’s top order was back in the pavilion. New Zealand in this game though seemed to be ‘up for the fight’ .
After being 278-6 at one stage many might have expected New Zealand to crumble – especially after the first game. To the Black caps’ credit they battled to a respectable 403 all out, Pakistan have a battle on their hands all over a sudden.
The Pakistani’s new they needed a ‘special effort’ just to stay in this game, they couldn’t have got off to the worst possible start as the new opening pair of Taufeeq Umar and Maqsood were both dismissed cheaply.
New Zealand at this point must have thought that they have got Pakistan right where they want them – but a third wicket stand of 113 halted the Kiwis’ charge. Misbah Ul-Haq the Pakistani captain was next and made an attractive looking 28 before being caught by Ross Taylor off the bowling Trent Boult. At that point they were 195-4
Pakistan were slowly getting there way back into this game – but the problem was they were losing to many wickets for their own liking. The 1992 world champions had a slight ‘wobble’ and slipped to 287-8 – but thankfully for Pakistan they can call on the services of wicket-keeper batsmen Sarfraz Ahmed – and hundred for Ahmed helped Pakistan to 393 all out, which left them just 10 behind New Zealand’s first innings score.
The second innings wasn’t as good for New Zealand as the first and the Kiwi’s lost four wickets before the score even got to 100. The New Zealander’s with a 46 run fifth wicket stand and a 60 run sixth wicket stand managed to get a lead of over 200 at that point (236 to be precise). The eight wicket fell two runs later and when the ninth wicket fell with the score at 250, New Zealand opted to declare.
With a lead of 260 which was in large thanks to Ross Taylor’s century ,was a testing score – especially for a fourth and innings and for a pitch like Dubai.
To cap a disappointing match Taufeeq Umar in Pakistan’s second innings was dismissed cheaply. With Pakistan looking to save the game – the Pakistani’s couldn’t have got off to a worst possible start. A second wicket stand of 62 looked to have taken the sting out of the game – but another two wickets fell with only three more runs scored.
Pakistan were wobbling and a New Zealand win seemed a distinct possibility. Out came ‘Pakistan’s Mr Reliable’ Younus Khan and talk of a New Zealand win seemed to have gone – but when Khan was out caught by Ross Taylor off the bowling of Mark Craig, New Zealand’s hopes of a win were renewed with that wicket.
Sadly for New Zealand there was to be no more drama as a sixth wicket stand of 43 between Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed ensured that Pakistan drew the ,match and still have there 1-0 series lead intact.
The third and final test starts on Wednesday.