The second and final Test between Pakistan and New Zealand at the National Stadium in Karachi saw a thrilling finish as the match ended in a draw with three overs still left to play. Chasing a target of 319, Pakistan were 304/9 after tailenders Naseem Shah and Abrar Ahmed survived 21 balls in fading light in Karachi.
Naseem was impressed with number 11 Abrar as he was looking confident when he walked to bat in the finishing moments of the second Test on Friday. Both talked about their crucial partnership after the match was over.
“When he was coming in, I told (Tim) Southee – look he’s wearing glasses, it’s so late, he won’t be able to see the ball properly. This is not fair. But he walked in with style, as if he was Imran Khan. I realized this guy has confidence.” Naseem said.
Brilliant performance by the Pakistan tailenders in the end
Ahmed too praised his partner and said that Naseem motivated him and told him that he plays pretty well against the spinners. Abrar said that they could have even won the match if they had wickets in their hands.
“Naseem told me, ‘have belief in yourself. I have seen you in the nets. You bat well, especially against spinners’. He told me to face the leg-spinner since, being one myself, I can read the googly and flipper. He decided to play the off-spinner. That was our discussion. If we had wickets in hand, we could have chased the target with one-two overs to spare.”
However, New Zealand players tried to distract Naseem, talking about the same, Naseem revealed his interesting interaction with the Blackcaps skipper Tim Southee before the last over. He also talked about the nervousness of being in the middle during the final stage of the match.
“I told Southee, if you keep the same field, I will go for the chase. But he sent the fielders back after that four and six. Then I decided I wouldn’t go for it and a draw would be best. You work hard over five days and then it comes down to the last 20-30 minutes, whether we can survive on not or even push for victory.”