Pakistan draws 2nd test against New Zealand
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Pakistan survived an unexpected top-order collapse to draw the second test with New Zealand after being set a tricky target of 261 in 72 overs on the last day Friday.
Trent Boult's (2-12) twin strikes left Pakistan reeling at 75-4 before top-scorer Younis Khan (44) and Asad Shafiq (41 not out) combined for 74 runs to help guide their team to a safe 196-5 with five overs unused.
"They (New Zealand) have improved a lot from the last game and put us really under pressure," Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said.
"We were planning to chase it down and bat normally up to 40-45 overs, but we lost three wickets in two-three overs, and that changed the whole scenario."
Earlier, Kiwis captain Brendon McCullum made a bold declaration at 250-9 for an overall lead of 260 runs, with Ross Taylor scoring a brilliant 104.
Legspinner Yasir Shah (5-79), who had Taylor stumped, bagged his first five-wicket haul, while left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar took 4-96.
"It was a right result for both teams, and credit to Pakistan for the way they fought it out," McCullum said.
Pakistan kept its 1-0 lead intact after the 248-run win last week, with the last test set for Sharjah next Wednesday.
Offspinner Mark Craig triggered a Pakistan collapse when Azhar Ali was out for 24 hitting a full toss straight to cover after putting on 62 runs with Shan Masood, 40.
Boult had Masood lbw off a vicious yorker, and in his next over captain Misbah-ul-Haq was caught behind for a rare nought in recent times, as Pakistan slipped to 75-4.
Khan and Shafiq then defied the Kiwis' bid for victory in the last session with a gritty half century stand before Khan fended Craig's short delivery to the slips. The dismissal raised New Zealand hopes, but not for long.
"The toss was really important," McCullum said.
"We followed the blueprint that Pakistan have been using ... which allowed us to be in a position from where we could have won the test match."
Earlier, Taylor returned to form after scores of 0, 8 and 23 to make 104 off 133 balls, his first test century of the year.
Taylor added 60 invaluable runs with Craig (34) after New Zealand resumed at the overnight 167-6. Both fell to Shah in the space of three deliveries to give the legspinner his first five-wicket haul in only his fourth test match.
New Zealand looked for quick runs to press its bid to level the three-match series on a turning pitch after losing the first test by 248 runs last week.
Craig got away with a dropped catch when left-arm fast bowler Rahat Ali found a thick outside edge in his second over and Umar spilled a low, two-handed catch at first slip.
Taylor was on 85 when he survived an lbw appeal in the next over, as he played Babar on the back foot and Pakistan went for an unsuccessful television referral.
Taylor, who scored his last test century against the West Indies at Hamilton in December 2013, completed his first test hundred against Pakistan off 129 balls when he pushed Ehsan Adil to midwicket and ran a single.
"I was pretty rusty in the first test," Taylor said. "When you play on a pitch like that, there will always be a ball with your number, so you've got to keep scoring."
He also joined former captain John Wright at 12 test centuries, five behind Martin Crowe's New Zealand record.
New Zealand made its intent clear for declaration when Craig hoisted Babar over midwicket for a big six before he holed out in the deep off Shah.
A ball later, Taylor didn't wait for the TV umpire's decision and walked back when he was stumped by Sarfraz Ahmed.
Southee smashed three successive sixes off Babar and pushed the lead beyond the 250-run mark before he skied a simple catch and McCullum declared.