Kiwis take late wickets after Saud scores unbeaten maiden Test ton

New Zealand claimed four wickets during the last 40 minutes of the play to halt Pakistan’s advance led by an unbeaten knock of 124 by Saud Shakeel as the hosts ended the day three at 407 for 9 on Wednesday.

The promising left-hander scored his maiden Test hundred at National Stadium Karachi where Pakistan had resumed their innings from 154 for 3. He was accompanied by the last batter, Abrar Ahmed, who was yet to open his account. It means the hosts are just 42 runs shy of the tourists’ first innings total of 449.

Saud has kept his end intact for 488 minutes — batting all day on Wednesday, and adding 83 for the fourth wicket with Imam-ul-Haq (83) and 150 for the fifth with Sarfaraz Ahmed (78).

But New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel dismissed Agha Salman (41) and Hasan Ali (4) as Pakistan slumped from 385-5 to 397-9, losing four wickets for just 12 runs off 27 balls.

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi took two wickets in as many balls, dismissing Naseem Shah for 4r and Mir Hamza without scoring.

Saud, who has hit 17 boundaries, was lucky to get a life off pacer Tim Southee when Tom Latham grassed a simple catch at short cover when the batter was on 102. With wickets falling at the other end, he went into a shell, scoring just 23 runs in the final session.

He completed his century before tea when he swept spinner Michael Bracewell for a boundary and then took a sharp single to reach three figures in 319 minutes of stoic batting.

Sarfaraz was stumped on 78 in the penultimate over before the break, having scored his third consecutive half-century of the series.

Earlier, Haq was snapped-up by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell off fast-bowler Southee after Pakistan resumed on 154-3.

On 74 overnight, Haq rebuilt the innings after being involved in skipper Babar Azam’s run-out on Tuesday, but fell in the second hour of the session.

He edged a drive to Blundell, but was only given out after New Zealand challenged the turned-down appeal. Haq hit 10 boundaries and a six in his 244-minute knock.

The two-match series is tied after the first Test — also in Karachi — ended in a draw.

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