Pakistan 125 for 5 at lunch as New Zealand look for series win
Wicketkeeper Tom Latham appeals successfully for caught behind after he grabbed the ball as a result of an attempted tickle by Babar Azam on leg side at National Stadium, Karachi, on Friday.

Pakistan lost three more wickets and reached 125 for 5 by lunch on the last day of the Karachi Test against New Zealand on Friday, as the visitors eye series win against the hosts. With 55 overs still remaining, New Zealand are now the favourites.

It also means Pakistan are now staring at the prospects of third straight Test series loss on the home soil after 1-0 defeat at the hands of Australia and the 3-0 white wash – the first ever in the country – thanks to a relentless England side.

They dig themselves into further trouble during the morning session after resuming their innings from zero for the loss of two wickets.

Imam-ul-Haq was first to go after scoring 12 runs. He was bowled by Ish Sodhi after attempting to skip down the wicket. The team total was 35.

When the score reached 77, Tom Latham caught Babar Azam (35) on the bowling of another spinner Michael Bracewell as he tried to tickle a delivery.

And just three runs later, Shan Masood charged him down the pitch but failed to get the necessary elevation, ending up giving a simple catch to Kane Williamson at mid-off.

However, Sarfaraz Ahmed (29) and Saud Shakeel (16) are still at the crease and thus carrying the hopes for Pakistan to avoid defeat not only in the Test but also in the two-match series. The first Test had ended in a draw.

For the Kiwis, Sodhi and Bracewell have so far claimed two wickets apiece for 23 and 28 runs respectively with one for Southee.

Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan were in deep trouble as they two wickets Thursday posting anything on the board after New Zealand set them a 319 runs target.

Tim Southee triggered the disastrous start for the hosts as he bowled Asad Shafique on the second ball of innings’ first over. And in the third over, Ish Sodhi bowled Mir Hamza, the night watchman, which proved to be the last ball of the day.

Meanwhile, Imam-ul-Haq managed to escape the Kiwis’ attack by surviving the short stay at the crease during which he has so far faced six balls.

But it was made possible only after a bold declaration by New Zealand after Southee challenged Pakistan with the run chase which is gettable, at least on the papers, by declaring their second innings on 277 for 5.

Meanwhile, no team has chased more than 314 to win a Test in Pakistan, which the home team had achieved against Australia in Karachi 1994.

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