Sarfaraz Ahmed became a hero of Pakistan after the 35-year old cricketer smashed a ton during the second Test against New Zealand on Friday. Sarfaraz’s knock helped the hosts end the match with a draw after bad light abruptly stopped the game in Karachi. This resulted in the two-match series ending 0-0 with the teams sharing the trophy. As the series turned out to be a memorable outing for Sarfaraz, who was also declared as the Player of the Series, it became another nightmare for skipper Babar Azam as he could not live up to the expectations of the fans.
Babar, who played a massive knock of 161 runs in the first innings of the first Test, failed to repeat his heroics and fetched low scores like 14, 24, and 27 in the rest of the series. Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria criticised Babar and stated that the skipper does not have a good “cricketing sense”.
“Babar Azam failed as a captain and batsman in the series. With performances like this, you have to hand over the captaincy to Sarfaraz. Saud Shakeel should be the vice-captain. I think Babar Azam doesn’t have the cricketing sense. He had a good chance to score runs but he got out on the leg side while playing on the back foot, which he should have swept,” said Danish Kaneria on his YouTube channel.
Coming to the match, Pakistan’s last pair Naseem Shah and Abrar Ahmed survived 21 balls in fading light Friday while Sarfaraz Ahmed hit a fighting century to deprive New Zealand of a victory, bringing the second Test to a sensational draw in Karachi.
New Zealand were in sight of a series-clinching victory after dismissing Sarfaraz for a career-best 118 with 39 balls remaining in the match. But as dusk settled, Naseem scored 15 and Ahmed seven to guide Pakistan to 304-9 in pursuit of a 319-run target when umpires Alex Wharf and Aleem Dar declared the light unfeasible to continue with three overs remaining.
The two-match series ended 0-0 after the first Test — also in Karachi — ended in a draw, depriving New Zealand of their first series win in Pakistan for 53 years.
(With AFP Inputs)