Watch: In the Karachi Test match against New Zealand, Saud Shakeel hit Ajaz Patel for the first six of his Test career to reach a vital fifty for Pakistan.
Requiring 174 to make New Zealand bat again, Pakistan were 205-5 in the third innings of the first Test of the two-match series, at the National Stadium, before Ish Sodhi (6-86) took out Agha Salman and Imam-ul-Haq in quick succession. At this point, Pakistan were only 32 ahead – with still more than half of the day’s scheduled overs to play.
But Shakeel and Mohammad Wasim defied the New Zealand spinners, taking Pakistan to 249-7 by tea. There was still work to be done, and Shakeel and Wasim continued until Sodhi trapped the latter leg-before. The more aggressive of the two, Wasim had made 43 in only 59 balls. Pakistan were 276-7 at this point: the lead was 102.
Pakistan were down to rank tail-enders, with Mir Hamza coming out at No.10, ahead of Abrar Ahmed. Shakeel decided to take on Ajaz, hitting him for consecutive fours with a slog-sweep and a paddle-sweep. In Ajaz’s next over, Shakeel slog-swept again for four to reach 44. He then stepped out to loft the next ball, into the stands over deep mid-wicket.
The six – the first of his Test career (though he has hit 51 fours) – took him to his fifth fifty in eight innings. In fact, Shakeel is yet to be dismissed for under 22 in the format. His average of 60.42 bears testimony to his consistency.
Shakeel was on 55 and Pakistan 311-8 when Babar Azam stunned everyone by declaring the innings. He set New Zealand 138 in the final hour. The match was called off after due to bad light when New Zealand were 61-1 in 7.3 overs.
The second Test match will begin on January 2, followed by three ODIs, on January 9, 11, and 13 – all at the same venue.
Watch Saud Shakeel’s six here:
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) December 30, 2022