Friday, July 19, 2024

2nd Test: Pakistan draw in Karachi after Babar heroics

Cameron Green congratulates Babar Azam after his 196 AFP/Getty Images

KARACHI (Pakistan), March 16: Skipper Babar Azam produced a career-best 196 under immense pressure as Pakistan snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat in the second Test against Australia on Wednesday.
Chasing a record 506 for an improbable win, Pakistan’s best bet was to bat out the final day and Babar led by example as they finished on 443-7, the sixth highest fourth innings total of all time.
Babar’s majestic knock, which included 21 fours and a six, will be an inspiration for his team heading into the third and final Test in Lahore on Monday.
“The plan was to bat session-by-session and build partnerships,” the Pakistan captain, who was adjudged player-of-the-match said at the presentation ceremony.
“It was a team effort, as others chipped in with useful contributions too.”
“We tried to be positive and play our shots. The team needed this knock, so I tried to bat for as long as I could.”
The hosts were on the back foot after folding for 148 in reply to Australia’s massive first innings total of 556-9 at the National Stadium.
The record victory target was never within Pakistan’s reach but Babar’s marathon 228-run partnership with opener Abdullah Shafique (96) kept them afloat in the contest.
Nathan Lyon (4-112) injected fresh drama in the final session dismissing Babar and Faheem Ashraf with successive deliveries but Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 104 helped Pakistan salvage a draw.
“I’m just really proud of the efforts,” Cummins said after Australia were stranded three wickets away from victory.
“The way we batted was fantastic, the way we hunted we took those wickets on day three with reverse swing, that was brilliant as well.
“We were always ahead in the game, so really proud of the boys,” added Cummins.
The opening Test in Rawalpindi had also ended in a draw. (Agencies)