Connect with us


Kiwis set 300-run target for Pakistan in final ODI match

Afridi was the standout bowler towards the end, taking three wickets, while Shadab and Mir also contributed with two wickets each.



Kiwis set 300-run target for Pakistan in final ODI match
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Karachi: New Zealand set 300-run target for Pakistan in the final clash of five-match One-Day International series at Karachi ground on Sunday.

In a thrilling encounter between Pakistan and New Zealand, Pakistan emerged victorious with a spirited display of bowling towards the end of New Zealand's innings.

New Zealand's half-centuries from Will Young and Tom Latham had set them up for a big total, but incisive wicket-taking bowling from Pakistan during the latter half of the innings knocked that platform from right underneath their feet.

New Zealand won the toss and chose to bat first. However, Pakistan's bowling shackled New Zealand in the first power play, resulting in Tom Blundell being dismissed cheaply after a rash and loose shot. The subsequent partnership between Henry Nicholls and Will Young only yielded steady progress, and it wasn't until Usama Mir dismissed Nicholls that New Zealand's brightest passage of play began.

Over the next 19 overs, New Zealand scored 130 runs, with Young and Latham leading the charge. Young's flamboyant 91-ball 87 had put his side in the ascendancy through the first half, and Mark Chapman's quickfire 33-ball 43 turbocharged the innings. However, Shadab Khan and Usama Mir each struck twice at key moments to kneecap New Zealand, and as the fast bowlers joined the party at the death, the 299 the visitors ended up with was more a stumble than a sprint.

Chapman was the chief aggressor, savaging Agha Salman in an over that saw him plunder 22. When he had raced along to 43 off 33 and New Zealand were on 206 for 3 with 14 overs to go, a huge score seemed on the cards. But an unlucky dismissal, a missed sweep that saw the ball tickle his gloves on the follow-through - combined with a sensational catch by Mohammad Rizwan - was the turning point of the match. The last 14 overs would see just 83 runs scored as New Zealand lost all seven remaining wickets to be bowled out in the 50th over.

New Zealand's lack of batting firepower in the lower order was suddenly exposed, and it was left to Rachin Ravindra to provide the bulk of the runs. He would do so valiantly as wickets continued to tumble at the other end before he, too, fell to Haris Rauf for a 20-ball 28. That left New Zealand nine down, with the final wicket coming with three balls still to go, as a direct hit found Ish Sodhi well short of his ground.

In a New Zealand innings that fell well short of what they were aiming for, the finish was perhaps appropriate. The Pakistani bowlers, led by Shadab Khan and Usama Mir, put in a magnificent effort in the field, taking crucial wickets at crucial times to keep the New Zealand total within reach. Mohammad Rizwan was exceptional behind the stumps, with a sensational catch to dismiss Mark Chapman being the highlight of his performance.