Blackcaps v Pakistan: Home side thwart New Zealand's bid for historic test series victory at Karachi

Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed's counter-attacking hundred has foiled New Zealand's bid for a series-clinching victory, with the second test ending in a dramatic draw, after an action-packed final day.

The Blackcaps were one wicket away from winning the match, while Pakistan were 15 runs short of victory, when bad light stopped play, resulting in a 0-0 series stalemate.

Chasing 319 for victory, Pakistan lost two wickets without a run on the board on Thursday and New Zealand took the upper hand, claiming three wickets in the final day's morning session.

Sarfaraz Ahmed celebrates his century against New Zealand
Sarfaraz Ahmed celebrates his century against New Zealand. Photo credit: Getty Images

Poor shot selection by Imam-ul-Haq (12) and Shan Masood (35) compounded Pakistan's difficulties at Karachi's National Stadium.

Imam stepped out against Ish Sodhi, only to lose his stumps, while Shan charged down against Michael Bracewell (4/75) and ended up offering a swirling skier to Kane Williamson.

Bracewell also had Babar Azam caught down the leg side by Tom Latham, who replaced the injured Tom Blundell behind the stumps.

Sarfaraz, whose career-best 118 was his first test hundred since 2014, turned the match on its head, compiling a 123-run stand with Saud Shakeel (32) to ensure Pakistan did not lose a wicket in the second session and turned the heat on New Zealand.

More drama unfolded in final session, especially after Agha Salman fell to Matt Henry and Sarfaraz cramped up. With light fading, the Blackcaps could not use their seamers and Tim Southee, in his first series as test captain, had spin from both ends. 

Bracewell dismissed Sarfaraz to put New Zealand on the cusp of victory, but Naseem Shah and Abrar Ahmed hung on gamely to force a draw, with Pakistan on 304/9.

"It came down to those last moments... great end to 10 days of pretty tough toil," said Southee, after his first series as NZ test captain. "We got ourselves to push for a win, but Sarfaraz played with intent and took the game away from us in the second session."

Sarfaraz was rather sloppy behind the stumps in his comeback series, but was named both the Player of the Match and the Player of the Series for his scores of 86, 53, 78 and 118.

"It was a dream comeback for Sarfaraz," said captain Babar. "We kept backing him and it's very heartening to see his response when the opportunity came."

New Zealand now face their hosts in a three-match one-day series, starting Monday.