Cricket - Babar & Rizwan
Marathon men: Babar Azam (left) and Mohammed Rizwan cross over during their match-saving partnership on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

Karachi: Babar Azam showed the way with a daddy hundred (196), while Mohammed Rizwan (104 not out) and Abdullah Shafique (96) also rose to the occasion as Pakistan pulled off a miraculous draw against Australia in the second Test at Karachi’s National Stadium on Wednesday.

Chasing a record victory target of 506, Pakistan finished on 443-7 after a pulsating final day. Nathan Lyon (4-112) was the pick of the Australia bowlers while Pat Cummins claimed 2-75. The series opener in Rawalpindi had also resulted in a draw.

It was a remarkable batting performance for Pakistan, who were 310 for four with Babar unbeaten on 168 and Rizwan on 14 at tea, raising genuine hopes of a draw.

Earlier, Australia began the final day needing eight wickets to go 1-0 up in the three-Test series.

Pakistan, on the other hand, required 314 runs in 90 overs to pull off Test cricket’s greatest chase or, alternatively, bat out three sessions to force a draw.

A burgeoning third wicket stand between Azam and Shafique had kept Pakistan in the contest and the duo continued to frustrate Australia when play resumed.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins could not make early inroads with the new ball and Babar greeted Mitchell Swepson with back-to-back fours when the leg spinner was introduced into the attack.

Abdullah and Babar batted together for nearly 87 overs in a spectacular rearguard before Cummins broke the 228-run stand in the penultimate over before lunch.

The Australia captain induced Abdullah into a drive and Steve Smith, who had dropped the opener on 20 on Tuesday, took a waist-high catch at slip to complete the dismissal. Abdullah hit six fours and a six during his 305-ball vigil.

Cummins struck again after lunch when he removed Fawad Alam caught behind for nine.

Babar duly completed 150, his first in Test cricket but the celebration was muted considering the task at hand.

The third and final Test begins in Lahore on Monday.