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Pakistan vs New Zealand, 1st Test at Karachi, PAK v NZ, Dec 26 2022 - Ball by Ball Commentary

1st Test, Karachi, December 26 - 30, 2022, New Zealand tour of Pakistan
438 & 311/8d
(T:138) 612/9d & 61/1

Match drawn

Player Of The Match
NZ 2nd Innings
Full commentary

The seesaw ends, it's a draw. The fact is plain but how it got there is a puzzle. There'll be content coming here on ESPNcricinfo deciphering it. Do check it out. The second Test starts after two days, so the turnaround is low. See you then. For now, it's goodbye from me, Ekanth, my report writing co-commentator, Hemant Brar, Sreshth and Himanshu, who were here on the earlier days, and our scorer, M Venkat Raghav.

Babar Azam, Pakistan Captain: As you know, we wanted to get a result as I said at the toss and we went for the declaration. But the light was not good enough, so (it ended in a draw). (On thinking of a different option for the fifth bowler for the next Test) Our fifth bowler is Salman Agha, he wasn't been feeling well. We missed him with the ball. So, I think our five-bowlers attack is good. Wasim and Saud brought us back in the match. Credit to them for playing positive cricket. Saud played a mature innings and we look forward to him playing in the future.

Tim Southee, New Zealand Captain: I wouldn't say chances slipped away. We had to hang in and take chances. To have lost the toss and have had a chance was pleasing. Late in the third innings, they played nicely. There was a bit of assistance if bowled in the right areas. But a couple of good innings took the game to safety for them. Tremendous comeback from Ish Sodhi. He can be extremely proud of his return to Test cricket. Kane showed his class and what he's capable of in these conditions. (On captaincy) Not too different from what we usually do.

Kane Williamson is the POTM for his 200*: It was a fantastic opening stand that set the tone and was important. I came in and looked to get used to the pace. It was nice to build a lot of partnerships. (On prep against Abrar) They are well equipped world-class bowlers. We tried to stick to the plans. It was a good batting surface but nice to see the rough which challenged batters. Well played by Imam who took them to a draw. Still had chats with Tim, great game of cricket. Old school, pretty quick turnaround and we'll be back on it. (On rating the double among others) I don't think about it too much. It's about contributing to the team. It was a nice team performance.

The big question? How will Babar's declaration be analysed? How will it be characterised? Did it make tactical sense? Expect many a comment in the cricketing world in the next day or two. For now, it's presentation time.

So, um, what happened? Pakistan were in a position staring at a loss after Imam-ul-Haq fell with the lead just over 30. Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Wasim took them over 100. With just under an hour to go, Shakeel was looking comfortable. A mention to Ish Sodhi who took his career-best figures of 6 for 86. He threatened to take wickets, Ajaz Patel and Michael Bracewell didn't bowl as tight. But New Zealand's bowlers were looking low and Babar put out a surprise declaration. The batters came out and tried to T20 a chase, if the unlikely case that 'T20' can be a verb. The light faded, and despite Latham and Conway's best efforts, the match ended in a draw.

Ghaffar: "Pakistan Survived.. Phew.."

5:26pm: Aleem Dar checks the light. has a chat with his fellow-umpire and Tom Latham. Looks like it's all over. A couple of handshakes around. The umpires have another chat and there are handshakes all around. The match ends in a draw. Fielders have a chat as they walk back. Handshakes between players and staff members of both sides.

Mohammad Wasim to Conway, no run

Back of length, too wide. Left alone

Mohammad Wasim to Latham, 1 run

Bunts a pull to a short ball outside off. The pace is 119.7 kph and it doesn't rise much. Goes to deep midwicket

Mohammad Wasim to Conway, 1 run

Full around off, driven to long-on

The lights are fading, the umpires check as they are doing after every over. Okay for now.

end of over 74 runs
NZ: 59/1CRR: 8.42 
Tom Latham34 (23b 3x4 1x6)
Devon Conway17 (14b 2x4)
Mir Hamza 1-0-4-0
Mohammad Wasim 1-0-13-0
Mir Hamza to Latham, no run

Back of length outside off, Latham tries to pull and misses. Batter looks up in disappointment

Mir Hamza to Latham, no run

Wide on a length, the 120.8 kph ball beats Latham as he tries to heave it across to the leg side.

Mir Hamza to Conway, 1 run

Inside edge onto pad, deflects towards short third . Conway hobbles as he completes the run. Might have hit the bit between pad and thigh pad on the left leg.

Mir Hamza to Latham, 1 run

Around a length just outside off, a tad low like the last ball. Bunts it up in the air to mid-off

Mir Hamza to Conway, 1 run

Length outside off, bottom edges an attempted flashy drive into the pitch. Hand comes off, they run as the bowler comes in. Ball is not far from the striker's crease, they make it

Mir Hamza to Latham, 1 run

Length outside off, opens the face to guide it to deep third

Hamza brought on, pacers at both ends as the Sun starts to set in the horizon. Artificial lights have taken effect

end of over 613 runs
NZ: 55/1CRR: 9.16 
Tom Latham32 (19b 3x4 1x6)
Devon Conway15 (12b 2x4)
Mohammad Wasim 1-0-13-0
Abrar Ahmed 3-0-23-1

Light meter is out

Mohammad Wasim to Latham, 1 run

Full outside off, driven into the ground. Goes to mid-off after beating the dive by cover to the left

Mohammad Wasim to Latham, no run

Hidden wide outside off, Latham tries to drive the full ball. Misses

Ganesh: "No point criticising Babar this is a bold decision and with Pakistan already out of the WTC race they have nothing to lose and everything to gain if a freak win happens here."

Mohammad Wasim to Latham, SIX runs

Whipped and it sounded sawweet! Flat six over midwicket. Partnership up to fifty. Slightly back of length outside off, Latham lunged and whacked it across.

Mohammad Wasim to Conway, 1 run

Close to a full length just outside off, Conway tries to lift it. Doesn't middle it, goes to long-on

Mohammad Wasim to Latham, 1 run

Around a length outside off, clipped to long-on

Mohammad Wasim to Latham, FOUR runs

Flicked in the gap to the right of deep fine. Fielders didn't spot it, coach Saqlain Mushtaq is tense outside the ropes

Wasim comes on. First over of pace in the innings

end of over 514 runs
NZ: 42/1CRR: 8.40 
Devon Conway14 (11b 2x4)
Tom Latham20 (14b 2x4)
Abrar Ahmed 3-0-23-1
Agha Salman 2-0-14-0
Abrar Ahmed to Conway, FOUR runs

Length down leg, reverse swept kinda on the up. Through point, deep-backward point runs to the left but has no chance

Abrar Ahmed to Latham, 1 run

Nudges a length ball on leg, clipped behind square gently

Osman: "So the plan from Babar was that instead of drawing the match, we should lose it? Why did they declare?" It's a thought experiment for sure. Would be interesting to hear from him post match. Instinctively I like it, but strategically, there's more to the decision.

Abrar Ahmed to Latham, FOUR runs

Swept, rockets behind square. Hamza puts in the dive to the left at the deep-fine area, misses and it's four

Abrar Ahmed to Conway, 1 run

Reverse sweeps a full ball from outside leg to deep-backward point

Abrar Ahmed to Conway, no run

Down the track, defends it in front

Abrar Ahmed to Conway, FOUR runs

Down the track, whacked to the right of the umpire. Aleem Dar raises his hands after moving to his left in defence

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