ABU DHABI: Pakistan registered a convincing win against New Zealand in the second ODI of the three-match series by six wickets as Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam found their groove with 88 and 46 runs respectively.
As Pakistan came out to chase a total of 210, they looked to see off the hat-trick hero Trent Boult during his first spell and strived to save wickets. Once Fakhar Zaman got settled in the middle, he started to play his strokes, while his fellow opener occupied the crease from the other end.
New Zealand’s bowlers seem ineffective in the first ten overs, however, Lockie Ferguson dented Pakistan’s journey with a bouncer to Imam Ul Haq in the 12th over of the game, which hit on his helmet’s grill and he had to leave the field. He was then taken to a hospital for scans and further examination.
Babar Azam joined Fakhar in the middle when Pakistan were 63/0, the two had an almost flawless time in the middle as they both scored freely and at an impressive rate.
Fakhar Zaman scored a half-century, which must have given a lot of confidence to the man himself and also to the team as a whole. Zaman lost his wicket off Ferguson on an aggregate total of 155, while he missed his century by 12 runs. Babar Azam followed his partner in the same over and lost his wicket while playing an uppercut, he missed his half-century by 4 runs.
Shoaib Malik (10) was looking fine at the crease, he was dismissed in a very unlucky manner, he struck a pull shot powerfully which hit Henry Nicholls at the short-leg, the ball ballooned up and was caught by Ish Sodhi.
With a few hiccups, Pakistan chased down the total of 210 runs in 40.3 overs, breaking Kiwis’ undefeated streak of 12 games against them. It was Pakistan’s first win against New Zealand after 2014.
Ferguson remained the pick of the bowler for the visitors with three wickets to his name for 60 runs in ten overs, whereas, Ish Sodhi picked the wicket of Sarfraz Ahmed when Pakistan were close to the finishing line.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets for 38 runs in nine overs to restrict New Zealand to 209/9. On the other hand, spinners, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Hafeez bowled economical spells for 25 and 31 runs respectively, taking one wicket each in the game. Whereas, the left-arm slow bowler, Imrad Wasim conceded 24 runs in five overs.
It was once again Kiwis’ experienced campaigner Ross Taylor who rescued a tumbling batting line from 73/4 to a competitive total courtesy of his slow and steady 84 runs inning off 120 deliveries.
Shaheen Shah Afridi initiated the damage as he removed the dangerous Colin Munro (13) earlier in the inning. The Blackcaps skipper got unlucky as he got run out off a straight drive from George Worker, which struck Afridi’s hand and hit the stumps.
Ross Taylor had a handy 77-run partnership with Henry Nicholls, where the latter fell to Hasan Ali at an individual score of 33 runs off 63 balls.
It was Taylor afterwards who kept the sinking New Zealand ship sailing and took his team to a respectable total of 209/9 at the end of their quota of 50 overs.
Hasan Ali also took two wickets in the game, but his economy was once again on a higher side, where he leaked 59 runs in 9 overs.