Kane Williamson’s brilliant unbeaten double-hundred gave New Zealand the upper hand on day four of the first test match in Karachi. As a result, Pakistan will need to bat till the end of play on the fifth and final day of the match in order to avoid losing the match.
Pakistan ended the fourth day of the match on a dangerous 77-2, down by 174 runs after the first innings. Imam-ul-Haq was on 45 runs at the end of the day, and nightwatchman Nauman Ali had four.
Pakistan is currently 97 runs down with eight wickets still in their possession after losing their most recent four Test matches, one of which was their first-ever 3-0 whitewash at the hands of England.
The goal of the home team to salvage a draw shouldn’t normally be difficult on a surface that has not so far taken sharp turn at National Stadium; nevertheless, their tendency for middle-order failures recently has given New Zealand the whiff of victory.
The first wicket to fall was that of the opener, Abdullah Shafique, who was caught at mid-on for the score of 17 after playing an injudicious lofted shot off of the spinner Michael Bracewell.
After that, Shan Masood was given 10 runs deducted for leg before off Ish Sodhi, and then Haq and Nauman finished off the day.
The visitors were able to declare their first innings on 612-9 thanks to Williamson’s undefeated double century. This gave them a healthy 174-run lead over Pakistan’s score of 438.
Williamson reached the score of 200 with a single off the spinner Abrar Ahmed. He had been at the crease for ten hours, during which he had hit 21 fours and a six. In addition, he had reversed two leg-before decisions that had been made on 13 and 116.
Additionally, he avoided being caught by the spinner Nauman on both deliveries 15 and 21.
When play resumed on 440-6, Williamson and Sodhi faced off against the bowling of Pakistan in the opening session. They were successful, as they brought the total to 595 before losing their seventh wicket stand.
Sodhi was caught by Ahmed for 65, which was a new personal best for him. This match against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in 2018 was also his previous best.
New Zealand lost three wickets in the space of two runs, but the last-man, Ajaz Patel, stood his ground to help Williamson reach the milestone. Tim Southee and Neil Wagner both went down without scoring as New Zealand dropped three wickets.
Nauman Ali finished with three wickets, while Ahmed concluded with five wickets for the match (his second five-wicket haul).
This will be the first time in twenty years that New Zealand has competed in a test series in Pakistan.