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‘Our plan was to go for the win,’ says Babar after tense draw against NZ

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KARACHI: Pakistan captain Babar Azam opened up regarding the team’s approach towards the tense second Test against New Zealand that ended in a close draw at National Bank Cricket Arena here on Friday.

Babar, while speaking to the media following the conclusion of the home Test series against New Zealand claimed the team’s prime goal was to go for the run chase but two quick wickets halted the team’s expedition.

“Our plan was to go for the win and we started the run chase in the morning, we tried to go session by session and after that, we’ll see where we stand in the final session. So, we thought that we can go for the chase and the partnership between Saud and Saifi bhai depicted our game plan,” said Babar.

“But, when Saud got out and Agha went into bat they [New Zealand] did not set the field as we were anticipating as obviously the too got a bit defensive but when Agha got out they once again came back into the game.

“It is a funny game and it goes this way, sometimes you are favourites and sometimes it’s the opposition and at the end our tail also showcased responsibility and they also tried to put pressure on them.

“It is difficult to handle the new ball and when almost all fielders are up it mounts an added pressure on the batter but I think Naseem and Abrar played really well.”

Pakistan skipper also heaped praises on wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed, who struck a fighting century in the tense run chase and kept Pakistan’s hopes alive by terming the latter’s return to Test cricket a “mega dream comeback”.

“Sarfaraz Ahmed’s comeback was brilliant. Whenever he got a chance, he proved it,” Babar said.

“Saifi [Sarfaraz] bhai did not let the fire die within him in four years. His work ethic was always there and continued to wait for his turn. We could’ve won also briefly, and it was because of his confidence and belief,” he added.

It is worth mentioning that Pakistan forced a sensational draw after Sarfaraz scripted a sensational pullback of the sinking ship as he played a memorable knock of 176-ball 118 to steer Pakistan out of the crisis after they were reduced 80/5 in the first session on the final day while chasing a target of 319 runs.

READ: ‘My best innings so far,’ Sarfaraz on his sensational hundred against NZ

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