The five days of drama in the second Test between Pakistan and Australia at National Stadium in Karachi finally ended with the hosts securing a draw, thanks to their skipper Babar Azam’s breathtaking knock.

In the first innings, Pakistan managed just 148 runs in response to Australia’s 556/6d, which featured Usman Khawaja’s scintillating century. The visitors didn’t proceed with the follow-on and declared their second innings at 97/2, setting up a massive target of 506 runs.

In reply, the hosts almost did the impossible and managed to reach 443/7 in the fourth innings before the end of final day’s play.  Babar and young Abdullah Shafique played the anchor role to form a 228-run stand in 524 balls to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive.

Shafique missed the three-figure mark by four runs, but vice-captain Mohammad Rizwan stepped up and further frustrated the tourists. Babar missed out his double century by a whisker after getting out for 196, while Rizwan reached his hundred and remained unbeaten on 104 before the officials announced the stumps on Day 5.

“The plan was to bat session-by-session and build partnerships. It was a team effort, as others (Shafique and Rizwan) chipped in with useful contributions too. We took the onus, and the main focus was to build partnerships right throughout the day. Rizwan was outstanding as he saved the Test for us eventually. We wanted to continue to bat in the same way (after the tea break), and we tried to be positive and play our shots. The team needed this knock, so I tried to bat for as long as I could,” said Babar after the match.

Here is how Twitter reacted:

Five action-packed days gave us plenty of moments to celebrate and learn from. Two proud captains led their teams from the front and the crowd was here for it! #BoysReadyHain l #PAKvAUS

— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 16, 2022

Special effort from @TheRealPCB to draw the match @babarazam258 & @iMRizwanPak 2 special players saved the match. Test match full of thrill & excitement till last over of the game ✅. Two test matches resulted in draw games. Let’s hav series decider next week in Lahore 😍

— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) March 16, 2022

Simply Amazing @babarazam258 & @iMRizwanPak 👏🏼👏🏼#PAKvAUS

— Dimuth Karunarathna (@IamDimuth) March 16, 2022

A special knock by a special player.
196 by @babarazam258 .

— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) March 16, 2022

Some innings give victories,
but some build character. And the latter are always helpful in the long run. Character building innings and match from @babarazam258 and co. Well done to @patcummins30 and his men too, almost pulled off something special. 👏🏼 #PAKvAUS

— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 16, 2022

Terrific Test match. Incredible individual performances. Played in great spirit from both sides. Bring on the next one #PAKvAUS

— Adam Burnett (@AdamBurnett09) March 16, 2022

Test cricket was where Babar Azam needed to take a step up and here it is. 480 to get and 170 overs to bat when he walked in. Hope of a miraculous win might have flickered but even a draw is a great result. What a player.

— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 16, 2022

Pakistan is only the second team in Test history to save the game by batting 1000+ balls in 4th inns. The first was England in the timeless Test in Durban in 1939. That match went on for 10 days and had to be stopped otherwise England would have missed the boat for home. #PakvAus

— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) March 16, 2022

Mohammad Rizwan has played some incredible knocks in international cricket in the last few years #AUSvPAK

— Isa Guha (@isaguha) March 16, 2022

Remarkable performance from Pakistan over the last couple of days in Karachi. Pulled off one of the great draws. Babar and Rizwan fantastic on the final day. 171.4 overs in the field for Australia in Pakistan’s second innings 😣 #PAKvAUS

— Rob Johnston (@RobJ_Cricket) March 16, 2022

That’s what you call a captain’s innings and leading from the front #BabarAzam #PAKvsAUS #Cricket

— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) March 16, 2022

Can’t think of many more entertaining centuries in a dramatic draw than this one from Mohammad Rizwan. Never changed his game, literally took the equation out of the picture & ended up as the toast of Karachi #PAKvAus

— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) March 16, 2022

As the players walked off the field it was pretty clear which side was happier. #PAKvAUS

— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) March 16, 2022

Players with worst bowling figures in an innings of Test debut:
0/163 – Adil Rashid 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
0/159 – Zafar Gohar 🇵🇰
0/156 – Mitchell Swepson 🇦🇺
0/149 – Bryce McGain 🇦🇺

Coincidentally Swepson is the first specialist leg-spinner to debut for Australia since McGain in 2009.#PAKvAUS

— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) March 16, 2022

It’s a draw in Karachi.

Pakistan batted for 171.4 overs in the 4th innings against Australia to make second Test a draw – 196 by Babar, 104* by Rizwan & 96 by Shafique – A classic final day.

— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) March 16, 2022

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