Cricket

Pakistan seal series win

2011-01-19 07:33
Misbah-ul-Haq (AP)
Wellington - Pakistan stubbornly ground out a draw in the second Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on Wednesday to secure their first series win in four years.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq produced a man-of-the-match performance with an unbeaten 70 off 226 balls to frustrate the New Zealand attack and ensure Pakistan reached stumps at 226 for five after being set a target of 274.

The draw followed Pakistan's crushing 10-wicket victory in the first Test at Hamilton and gave the tourists a 1-0 series win, their first since overcoming the West Indies 2-0 in 2006/07.

It also maintained Pakistan's record of never losing a Test match at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

New Zealand's hopes of bowling Pakistan out on the final day were raised when three wickets fell in the first hour as Chris Martin and Tim Southee made the most of the new ball.

Southee trapped Taufeeq Umar lbw for a first ball duck in the second over, with Martin dismissing Azhar Ali (10) lbw nine overs later.

Mohammad Hafeez (32) went in the next over after edging Martin to the slip cordon, leaving Pakistan struggling at 42/3.

The wickets brought Younis Khan and Misbah to the crease and the veteran pair defied pressure from the desperate New Zealanders to steady the innings.

In a repeat of the 142-run pairing that formed the backbone of Pakistan's first innings, Misbah and Younis dropped anchor to deliver a 118-run partnership lasting almost three hours.

Younis' dismissal for 81 on the last ball before tea energised New Zealand but Misbah remained immovable, combining with Asad Shafiq to graft out his sixth consecutive Test half century.

Daniel Vettori's probing spin eventually claimed Asad Shafiq for 24 but with just eight overs to go it was a consolation wicket for the Black Caps' captain, who finished with figures of one for 57 off 34 overs.

Martin was also left rueing missed opportunities as he finished the match on 199 Test wickets, forcing him to wait until a series in Bangladesh tentatively scheduled for May for the chance to reach his double century.

New Zealand, whose attack was rendered impotent by Pakistan's batsmen in the final session, turned to part-time spinners Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder, who also failed to provide a breakthrough.

Adnan Akmal joined his skipper at the crease, surviving 17 balls to be two not out as Misbah guided Pakistan to a draw that his side celebrated as if it were a victory.

The series loss meant New Zealand ended its summer season without a Test victory for the first time in 15 years.

But coach John Wright, on a mission to add steel to the Black Caps after his appointment in December, will take some comfort from the fact that his charges rallied after their Hamilton humiliation.

Teams:

New Zealand:

MJ Guptill, BB McCullum, KS Williamson, LRPL Taylor, JD Ryder, RA Young (wk), JEC Franklin, DL Vettori (captain), TG Southee, BJ Arnel, CS Martin

Pakistan:

Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal (wk), Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz

Read more on:    misbah-ul-haq  |  younis khan
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