PAKISTAN: Pakistan defeated New Zealand by 6 wickets in a lop-sided encounter between the two teams at National Stadium in Karachi. Naseem Shah made the ball reverse swing with deadly effect in the later stages of the New Zealand innings, picking up five wickets.
Half-centuries from Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan comfortably took Pakistan over the 256-run target.
New Zealand Innings
New Zealand limped to 255/9 in their fifty overs on a slow pitch which offered plenty for the spinners. Conway lost his wicket early, and Finn Allen departed after a brief stay at the crease.
Skipper Kane Williamson departed in the fifteenth over, leaving New Zealand at 69/3. Daryl Mitchell and Tom Latham attempted to rebuild the innings, but Nawaz removed Mitchell, who looked out of sorts throughout his innings.
Glenn Phillips, who came in after Latham left, couldn’t free his arms as the Pakistani bowlers kept a tight line.
Michael Bracewell hit a few lusty blows to take New Zealand closer to a respectable total. Santner chipped in with a brisk 21-run cameo to take New Zealand to 255/9.
The anticipated big hits at the end never came, and the Pakistani bowlers didn’t give away easy runs. Naseem Shah stole the show with a reverse swing and claimed a fiver.
The evening dew on the pitch under the floodlights aided the Pakistani batters, who found it relatively easier to tackle the New Zealand spinners.
Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman laid a solid foundation for the run chase with a 78-run partnership after Bracewell dismissed Imam-ul-Haq in the sixth over.
Babar joined forces with Mohammad Rizwan after the fall of Fakhar’s wicket and stitched together a 60-run partnership before being stumped off the bowling of Glenn Phillips.
Haris Sohail, the new man in, hit a couple of sixes and fours to bring the required run rate below six before becoming Tim Southee’s only wicket of the match.
Agha Salman and Rizwan brought Pakistan home to win the first ODI with 6-wickets and eleven balls to spare.
Naseem Shah won the Player of The Match award for his five-wicket haul, which restricted the New Zealand batters from hitting big shots in the later stages of the innings.
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