Taylor, Guptill lead New Zealand to win in a rain-affected contest

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Taylor, Guptill lead New Zealand to win in a rain-affected contest

NELSON: New Zealand registered a convincing victory by eight wickets in the second ODI of the five-match series against Pakistan on Tuesday at Nelson.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first and had a disastrous start losing their top three batsmen, Azhar Ali, Imam Ul Haq and Babar Azam for just 39 runs. The visitors felt the pinch of Fakhar Zaman’s absence in the top order, the top-scorer from the first game.

The experienced duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik contributed 45 runs together before Malik lost his wicket after scoring 27 runs off 46 deliveries.

Mohammad Hafeez, whose selection was being questioned as a specialist batsman, played a courageous inning of 60 runs off 71 deliveries. Whereas, the skipper Sarfraz Ahmed once again failed miserably, getting out for just 3 runs.

Pakistan were in all sorts of trouble when they were seven down for 141 runs before the young pair of Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali came to the rescue.

The 19-year old leggie played a magnificent inning of 52 runs which complemented well with Hasan Ali’s blistering knock of 51 off just 36 deliveries. Their effort with the bat gave Pakistan a competitive total of 246/9 in 50 overs.

Lockie Ferguson remained the pick of the bowlers for the home team as he took three wickets for 39 runs in his quota of 10 overs. Tim Southee and Todd Astle took two wickets apiece. Whereas, Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner got one wicket each.

New Zealand suffered an early blow when they lost their in-form opener Colin Munro for a duck. Mohammad Amir gave Pakistan the much-needed breakthrough on just the third delivery of the inning.

It seemed like Pakistan bowlers will show their class in the match and will snatch the victory from the Kiwis. Faheem Ashraf gave Pakistan another major success when he removed the centurion of the last game, Kane Williamson cheaply. In pursuit of 247 runs, New Zealand had lost their two in-form batsmen for just 47 runs.

However, Pakistan could not capitalize on the pressure applied early in the innings. Martin Guptill was batting in his merry way, punishing even the good deliveries from the bowlers. Rain halted the game in 14th over when the hosts were 64/2 and could not be restarted for about 90 minutes and it gave the home team a chance to recompose themselves.

When the contest restarted, New Zealand had a revised target of 151 runs in 25 overs. It made the equation favourable for the Kiwis needing 87 runs in 11 overs with 8 wickets in hand.

Martin Guptill started off the match after the break with flair, striking two sixes in Hasan Ali’s over. Pakistan faced the inconvenience of unavailability of Mohammad Amir as he had already bowled his revised quota of five overs before the rain.

Guptill and Taylor faced little difficulty in chasing down the revised total, who scored 86 (71) and 45 (43) respectively.

New Zealand is having a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, the next game of the campaign will be played on January 13.

Pakistan need to win the next match to stay in the series, otherwise the last two games will beome dead rubber.

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