After smashing a century against New Zealand in the second Test on Friday, Sarfaraz Ahmed, a 35-year-old cricketer, became a national hero in Pakistan.
After smashing a century against New Zealand on Friday in the second Test, Sarfaraz Ahmed, a 35-year-old cricketer, became a national hero in Pakistan. After the game in Karachi was unexpectedly paused due to poor lighting, Sarfaraz’s strike helped the hosts settle the match in a tie. As a result, the two-game series ended scoreless, and the teams split the trophy. Sarfaraz’s performance in the series, for which he was also named Player of the Series, made it memorable, while skipper Babar Azam’s failure to meet the fans’ expectations made it a nightmare for him.
Babar, who scored a record-breaking 161 runs in the opening innings of the first Test, was unable to replicate his feats and finished the series with low totals of 14, 24, and 27. Danish Kaneria, a former Pakistani spinner, criticised Babar and said the captain lacked “cricketing knowledge.”
“As captain and batsman in the series, Babar Azam struggled. With performances like this, Sarfaraz must be given the captaincy. Vice-captain should be Saud Shakeel. Babar Azam lacks my opinion of cricket sense. He had a wonderful opportunity to score runs but instead chose to play on the back foot and was out on the leg side, “according to Danish Kaneria’s YouTube channel.
Getting back to the game, Pakistan’s last combination of Naseem Shah and Abrar Ahmed held off 21 balls in waning light on Friday while Sarfaraz Ahmed produced a valiant century to deny New Zealand victory and force a thrilling draw in the second Test in Karachi.
With 39 balls left in the game, Sarfaraz was out for a career-high 118, and New Zealand was in position to win the series. However, as night fell, Naseem scored 15 and Ahmed seven runs to lead Pakistan to 304-9 in pursuit of a 319-run total when umpires Alex Wharf and Aleem Dar ruled that there were just three overs left and the light could not be maintained.
The first Test, which was also played at Karachi, finished in a draw, and the two games were tied, denying New Zealand their first series victory in Pakistan in 53 years.