Back of length, too wide. Left alone
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.
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
Full around off, driven to long-on
The lights are fading, the umpires check as they are doing after every over. Okay for now.
Back of length outside off, Latham tries to pull and misses. Batter looks up in disappointment
Wide on a length, the 120.8 kph ball beats Latham as he tries to heave it across to the leg side.
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.
Around a length just outside off, a tad low like the last ball. Bunts it up in the air to mid-off
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
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
Light meter is out
Full outside off, driven into the ground. Goes to mid-off after beating the dive by cover to the left
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."
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.
Close to a full length just outside off, Conway tries to lift it. Doesn't middle it, goes to long-on
Around a length outside off, clipped to long-on
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
Length down leg, reverse swept kinda on the up. Through point, deep-backward point runs to the left but has no chance
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.
Swept, rockets behind square. Hamza puts in the dive to the left at the deep-fine area, misses and it's four
Reverse sweeps a full ball from outside leg to deep-backward point
Down the track, defends it in front
|National Stadium, Karachi|
|Toss||Pakistan, elected to bat first|
|Player Of The Match|
|Series result||2-match series level 0-0|
|Match number||Test no. 2486|
|Match days||26,27,28,29,30 December 2022 - day (5-day match)|
|Points||Pakistan 4, New Zealand 4|