Haris Sohail, Babar Azam help Pakistan post big total

Haris Sohail and Babar Azam score centuries as Pakistan declares its first innings closed at 418 for 5 in the second Test against New Zealand.

Career-high: Haris Sohail’s 147 is the highest score of his career so far.   -  AFP

A career-best hundred from Haris Sohail and a maiden century from Babar Azam helped Pakistan post a big total to boost its chances of a series-levelling win against New Zealand in the second Test in Dubai on Sunday.

Sohail knocked a snail-paced 147 in nine hours and 34 minutes while Azam made an unbeaten 127 to steer Pakistan to an imposing 418 for 5 declared on Day Two at Dubai stadium. New Zealand negotiated nine overs without losing a wicket for 24 under lights in overcast conditions before umpires called off the day with two overs remaining.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Openers Jeet Raval was unbeaten on 17 with three boundaries while Tom Latham was five not out. With the Dubai stadium pitch starting to turn ace leg-spinner Yasir Shah could be the key to Pakistan gaining a big first innings lead.


New Zealand, which leads the series 1-0 after a four-run win in the first Test in Abu Dhabi last week, still trails by 394 runs with all 10 wickets intact.

Sohail improved on his previous best of 110 scored against Australia at the same venue last month while Azam passed his previous best of 99, against Australia in Abu Dhabi last month. He added an invaluable 186 runs for the fifth wicket with Azam as the two frustrated the New Zealand’s attack in the first two sessions.

The Pakistani batsmen added 82 between lunch and tea, scoring faster than in any of the previous sessions. Sohail took 309 balls to reach three figures and then waved his bat toward the dressing room, apparently pointing to his team-mate Azhar Ali, run out after a mix-up with Sohail on Saturday.

In full flow: Babar Azam en route to his unbeaten 127 in Dubai on Sunday. Photo: AFP

He was finally dismissed soon after tea, caught behind off paceman Trent Boult. In all, he faced 421 balls and hit 13 boundaries. Azam ably supported Sohail and hit 12 boundaries and two sixes. He added 58 for the sixth wicket with captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who made 30 not out.

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Medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme finished with 2 for 44 while Boult and left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel took a wicket apiece.

The third and final Test is in Abu Dhabi from December 3.

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