x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Rain helps Pakistan draw series

New Zealand were cruelly denied a series victory on the final day of the third Test against Pakistan as the heavens opened over Napier.

New Zealand were cruelly denied a series victory on the final day of the third Test against Pakistan as the heavens opened over Napier. The Black Caps were chasing a target of 208 to win after bowling out the tourists for 455 with BJ Watling leading the charge with 60 off 62 balls when rain halted play with the hosts at 90 without loss. The umpires finally called time at 6.45pm local time to make it a drawn series.

Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee claimed two final-day wickets each before Martin Guptill brought the Pakistan innings to a close by claiming the wicket of Mohammad Asif. Kamran Akmal was left stranded on 56 not out. Watling hit nine fours in his total before the heavy rain came to Pakistan's rescue. A draw looked the most likely outcome early on as Umar Akmal claimed his half-century with the second ball of the day as his outside edge off Chris Martin found the gap between slip and the wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.

The score had edged along to 360 when Misbah-ul-Haq was stumped by McCullum for seven and Umar Akmal finally fell for 77 off 144 balls as he top-edged one from Southee to McCullum. Vettori struck again just three balls before the end of the first session to remove Mohammad Aamer for seven. New Zealand's hopes were further raised when Iain O'Brien, in his final Test match, had Gul out for a duck after a fine catch from Daniel Flynn. Danish Kaneria then went for 11, with Pakistan on 449 with one remaining wicket.

Kamran Akmal fought a deter- mined rearguard action for Pakistan and just after reaching his 50 smashed Vettori for six over midwicket, but they were finally all out for 455 when Asif was trapped in front by Guptill for a duck off 10 balls. sports@thenational.ae