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Shah, Babar thwart New Zealand designs

Sarfraz lights up Pakistan innings with sparkling century; Taylor’s unbeaten 77 stretches visiting side’s lead to 177

Shah, Babar thwart New Zealand designs - Cricket News
Ross Taylor plays a shot
New Zealand was reduced to 167 for 6 in its second innings at stumps on the fourth day, with its efforts at a series-levelling win in the second Test against Pakistan receiving a jolt on Thursday (November 20).
 
A defiant century by Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicketkeeper-batsman, had helped Pakistan close to within 10 runs of New Zealand’s first-innings tally of 403 in Dubai. Pakistan was bowled out soon after lunch for 393, after a last-wicket stand of 81 between Sarfraz and Rahat Ali helped the side close in on New Zealand’s total.
 
Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah, the two spinners, again did the bulk of the damage with three wickets apiece as New Zealand finished the penultimate day 177 ahead with only four wickets standing. Ross Taylor, batting on a fluent 77, holds the key to the remainder of the New Zealand innings.
 
When New Zealand set out in its bid to build on the slender advantage, it lost Tom Latham (9), caught at leg gully attempting a sweep off Shah, the legspinner. Latham reviewed the decision, but the on-field call was upheld.
 
Brendon McCullum, the skipper, made 45 but New Zealand was repeatedly pegged back by Babar, the left-arm spinner, and Shah. Kane Williamson, James Neesham and BJ Watling all scored 11 each while Corey Anderson was dismissed for a duck.
 
Earlier, New Zealand looked set for a big first-innings lead but Pakistan owed its fightback to Sarfraz, who hit a brilliant 112 for his third Test hundred — all scored this year. He was the last man out in the second over after lunch to McCullum, hitting 16 boundaries in a 215-minute stay.


 
Sarfraz added a record 81 for the last wicket with Rahat (16 not out). He hit three boundaries in one Craig over and then two more off Ish Sodhi, the legspinner, to come within four runs of his hundred. He then cut Tim Southee towards deep point for his 15th boundary to complete the three-figure mark off 153 balls, the first Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman to score three hundreds in a year.

He ran a full circle in jubilation, and thumped his bat in the air to warm applause from his teammates in the dressing room.

Southee (3/67) had removed Shah in the third over of the day, caught behind for 2, and two runs later, Trent Boult (2/69) trapped Ehsan Adil leg before for nought, leaving Pakistan in danger of conceding a big lead. But Sarfraz added 25 for the ninth wicket with Babar (5) and then frustrated the New Zealanders in Rahat’s company.

Pakistan won the first Test by 248 runs in Abu Dhabi last week.

Please click here to see the full scorecard and follow live ball-by-ball coverage of Pakistan v New Zealand from Dubai.

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