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Pakistan grind out draw to win New Zealand series

Pakistan celebrate winning the series against New Zealand after drawing the second test cricket match in Wellington. (REUTERS)

By Reuters

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-haq led from the front, scoring his second half century of the match, to ensure his side batted out the final day to draw the second test against New Zealand on Wednesday and claim their first series victory since 2006.  

Misbah finished the day on 70 not out, following on from his 99 in the first innings, as Pakistan reached 226 for five at the close of play, 48 runs short of their victory target of 274.    

Adnan Akmal was two not out as the visitors claimed their first series win since they beat the West Indies 2-0 at home five years ago.     

Misbah had shared in an 118-run stand with Younus Khan (81) -- their second century-stand of the match -- after New Zealand had threatened to spoil the visitors' day when they reduced them to 42-3 in the first session.

Chris Martin was particularly aggressive in the first session, taking 2-24 off nine overs and had the Pakistani batsmen frantically trying to see him off.   

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori also provided some concerning moments for the visitors, introducing himself in the eighth over and getting bounce from the harder ball and some turn out of the footmarks.

Misbah and Younus, however, slowly but assuredly ground down the attack and for long periods during the session between lunch and tea looked to have given up any pretence of chasing down the target before they slowly began to increase the scoring rate.

New Zealand were given the slightest hope of a final session victory when Younus was caught by Reece Young off Tim Southee in the final over before tea.    

Misbah, who faced 172 balls and hit his fifth boundary to bring up his 50 after 255 minutes at the crease, and Asad Shafiq, however, continued to combine stoic defence and flirting with the possibility of launching a frantic final assault. 

In the final hour, Vettori trapped Shafiq in front for 24 to leave Pakistan 215-5 and while the New Zealand bowlers attempted to rattle them with several vociferous appeals, Akmal and Misbah negotiated their way through until the close.    

Martin finished with 2-63 off 24 overs, leaving him on 199 test wickets.