DUBAI: (AFP) – New Zealand and Pakistan captains Brendon McCullum and Misbah-ul Haq hailed the riveting Test between their countries which ended in an exciting draw Friday.
Pakistan, set to chase 261 in a possible 72 overs, finished 65 runs short at 196-5. Both teams could have won though.
The result maintained Pakistan s 1-0 lead in the three-match series after their 248-run win in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
The tense finish was made possible by McCullum s declaration at 250-9 following a brilliant return-to-form 104 by man-of-the-match Ross Taylor. “I thought it was pretty fair declaration and I think there was enough there for the batting team to stay interested and there was enough time for us to get ten wickets on a weary track,” said McCullum.
From our point of view we want to win Test matches so I thought it was a brilliant Test match, no loser or winner but it s a real good advert for Test cricket.”
McCullum praised Taylor s stubborn batting. “Ross s innings was brillinat,” said McCullum of Taylor s 12th Test hundred. “I think as the game was teetering away and for him to come out, lean on runs as well in the series, to be able to come out with so much confidence and that put some pressure back on Pakistan. “It was great to see him score a hundred and get us to a position where we can have a bold declaration.”
The New Zealand skipper also praised his young team. “From our point of view that this young team is prepared to play aggressive cricket and try to get some wins in the columns, the wins you remember the most, but we remember a lot of stuff from this Test,” said the New Zealand captain.
McCullum said winning the toss had been crucial. “The way and the confidence Pakistan had after winning the toss (in the first Test) batting up first and rack up big total and then bring up their spinners was, I guess, the blue print over the last couple of series.” He added: “To be able to win the toss here and put up a total of 400 in these conditions away from home was pivotal moment for us and allowed us to always be in the contest.”
New Zealand posted a 403-run total and then got Pakistan out for 393 in the first innings.
Misbah was disappointed at the result. “We could say we could have done a little better in this game but we missed a few chances in the first innings that really made a big difference in the whole game but it was an exciting game.” Misbah said his team had planned to chase the target. “We wanted to bat the first 40 overs in a normal manner and then step up in the final 20-22 overs but we lost three quick wickets and that made the target tough,” said Misbah, who fell for naught. The third and final Test starts in Sharjah from November 26.