PAK vs NZ | Twitter labels Pakistan 'the Abrar Ahmed team' after he singlehandedly rescues them with two stunning efforts
Abrar Ahmed turned the game on his head by sending two Kiwi batsmen back to the hut in quick succession|
(AP / ESPN Cricinfo)
As much as cricket is a team sport, the battles on the field are largely individual in nature, handing great power to players to change the game singlehandedly. Abrar Ahmed turned the screws on the Kiwis on Thursday courtesy of a stunning catch followed by trapping Kane Williamson LBW.
On a rare cloudy day at the Karachi National Stadium on Thursday, the second Test between Pakistan and New Zealand seemed likely to be heading to a grudging draw in another high-scoring encounter. After the Black Caps had put up a formidable 449 in the first innings, the Men in Green rode on the back of Saud Shakeel's century to end up just 41 runs short of the total. The Kiwi once again looked well settled in the second innings despite opener Devon Conway departing for a golden duck, as Kane Williamson looked set to continue 2023 in the same thread that he had left off in 2022.
However, two moments of pure magic on the field disrupted the visitors' walk in the park as they were left scurrying at 140/4 shortly after lunch. Having drawn criticism earlier in the day for wasting two crucial reviews in two overs, Abrar Ahmed was positioned at short midwicket as Naseem Shah steamed in to bowl. A length delivery on the pads was met with an uppish flick but it looked destined for the gaps and possibly heading to the boundary. However, the valiant Abrar took a couple of steps to his left before diving low at full stretch. The ball somehow stuck to his hand and the bowler wheeled away in celebration, having helped secure the crucial scalp of Tom Latham for 62 thus breaking a 109-run partnership.
Abrar wasn't done yet though. As he walked in to bowl the very next over, the leggie delivered a flighted length good length delivery to Kane Williamson. The Kiwi talisman attempted a sweep but could not judge the spin and was struck in front of the wicket. The umpire quickly raised his finger to send the hosts into pandemonium.
Abrar, having quickly become a fan favourite, further solidified himself as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage with these efforts and earned huge heaps of praise from Twitterati.
Moment of magic
Already got wickets
What A Catch by Abrar Ahmed.🔥#PakvsNZ— Mubasher Asif (@MubasherAsif) January 5, 2023
New star rising!