Pakistan clinched a 1-0 series win and its first test series victory for five years by securing a draw against New Zealand in the second test which ended Wednesday.
Chasing 274 for victory on the final day, Pakistan looked well placed to push for a 2-0 series clean sweep when it moved to 160-4 at tea.
However Pakistan was unwilling to risk a rare series victory and took a no-risk approach in the final session to ensure a draw.
New Zealand took three wickets in the opening session to boost chances of a rare win of its own, but Younis Khan (81) and captain Misbah-ul-Haq (70 not out) ground out patient innings to deny the home team.
“We saw the series as more important than this test,” Misbah said at the postgame presentation.
“Younis Khan batted well in both innings and Umar Gul did well in the last test, but everybody is contributing and that’s really good to see.”
The series win provided an overdue return of pride to Pakistan cricket, which had seen its international reputation further tarnished since its previous series victory against the West Indies in 2006.
It had been immersed in yet another corruption scandal arising from its tour of England last year – which deprived the team of key players for this series – while also being stripped of its co-hosting role in next month’s World Cup due to security failures.
New Zealand remains stuck in a rut of poor performances and will be hoping for a form turnaround in the upcoming one-day games to deliver some confidence and optimism ahead of the World Cup.
“We couldn’t quite play catch-up in this test and that is because Pakistan were on top after Hamilton,” said captain Daniel Vettori, who was able to take only one wicket in 34 overs on the final day when much of his team’s hopes rested on his arm.
“We now focus on getting our combinations right for the one-dayers and the World Cup.”