NELSON: New Zealand on Tuesday defeated the visiting Pakistan side comfortably with 8 wickets in hand after the target of 247 runs was revised to 151 in 25 overs.
Pakistan batted first and after almost a total collapse of the top and middle orders found themselves struggling at 141 for 7. However, the last 3 wickets added 105 runs to the total as Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali scored their 50s in overcast conditions, making it a fighting total of 246 for 9.
Other than a paltry contribution of 27 runs off 46 balls from Shoaib Malik, Hafeez was the only batsman among the top-6 to have stayed at the crease for more than an hour. His 60 off 71 remained the top score of the innings from the visitors.
Azhar Ali scored 6 again, adding nothing to his first ODI score. Imam ul-Haq, who replaced Fakhar Zaman in the opening slot, could only score 2 runs before falling to Boult’s brilliant fast bowling.
Babar Azam scored just 10 runs, a clear improvement on his first ODI’s 0. Shoaib Malik had put up a partnership of 45 runs before he too was sent back to the pavilion by Astle.
Hasan Ali celebrates his fifty. He scored 51 off just 31 balls with the help of four 4s and four 6s.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed didn’t do much either. He scored 3 runs off 6 balls before he got out leaving Pakistan 108 for 5. Hafeez finally gave up after adding another 19 runs in his partnership with Shadab Khan. Faheem Ashraf, who followed the suit 14 runs later, could only score 7 off 18 balls.
Ali celeIt was then that Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali came for a rescue of sorts, taking the scoreline above 200. They both scored fifties. Shadab took 68 balls for his 52 with the help of 3 boundaries and a six. Hasan Ali was destructive with the bat though. He scored 51 off just 31 balls with four boundaries and and equal number of sixes in his innings.
New Zealand found themselves struggling when they lost their first wicket in the first over. Amir got Munro for a duck. Guptill and Kane Williamson steadied the innings though and took the score to 47 before Faheem Ashraf struck to get Williamson, who scored 19 runs off 28 balls with the help of 2 boundaries.
In the 14th over, however, the rains came and washed away any hopes Pakistan may have had of winning this game. At the end of the 14th over, New Zealand were just 1 run ahead of Pakistan on D/L method. But when the clouds gave way for the play, the total had been revised to 151 runs off 25 overs, meaning that the hosts had 8 wickets in hands to score 87 runs off 66 balls, virtually making it look like an average T20 game where the chasing team would always consider itself in the driving seat with such an equation.
The experienced hands of Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor handled the game brilliantly, taking it away from Pakistan with their exceptional batting. They won the game for New Zealand without losing any wickets and with 7 balls to spare.
New Zealand are now 2-Nil up in the 5-ODI series.