Riding on the fifties by Will Young and Tom Latham, New Zealand defeated Pakistan by 47 in their fifth and final ODI to salvage pride by avoiding the clean sweep in the five-match series on Sunday.
After posting a huge total of 299/7, New Zealand skittled out Pakistan for 252 in 46.1 overs to end their skid and win the fifth match of the series.
Earlier, seeking a consolatory win after trailing 4-0, New Zealand’s innings was built around Young’s 91-ball 87 and a 58-ball 59 from Latham after the visitors won the toss and opted to bat at National stadium.
The match marks Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s 100th ODI in a glorious career which began in 2015.
New Zealand lost Tom Blundell for 15 and then Henry Nicholls for 23 before Young steadied the innings during his 74-run third wicket stand with Latham.
Young hit eight boundaries and two sixes and was looking set for a hundred but was smartly caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off leg-spinner Shadab Khan in the 30th over.
Mark Chapman upped the tempo with a breezy 33-ball 43 with two sixes and five Cricket boundaries, adding 56 for the fourth wicket with Latham.
Chapman was unlucky to be caught behind off the glove as he tried to sweep Shadab to leg side. He took 22 off one over from spinner Agha Salman.
Latham also holed out off spinner Usama Mir in the 42nd over after hitting five boundaries.
Rachin Ravindra (28) and Cole McConchie (26) added useful runs before New Zealand were bowled in 49.3 overs. For Pakistan Shaheen Shah Afridi took 3-46 while Mir and Shadab took two wickets apiece.
Babar’s 107 off 117 balls propped up Pakistan’s 334-6, and New Zealand stumbled to 232 all out, its lowest total of the series.
The most lopsided win of the series lifted Pakistan to No. 1 in the ICC ODI rankings and a 4-0 lead.
“Credit goes to the entire team and support staff for becoming the No. 1 ranked ODI team,” captain Babar said.
“We felt it was a 300-plus wicket and if you build a partnership you can get to that total. We wanted to give a proper run to every player and since there are big events coming up, we are happy to find 15-16 players.”
Babar and Agha Salman revived Pakistan from 128-3 in the 25th over with a 117-run fourth-wicket stand. Their charge allowed Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Haris to smash 38 off the last two overs and put up an imposing total.
“Credit to the way they played, Babar played fantastically,” New Zealand captain Tom Latham said. “We are trying to build partnerships and needed someone to bat through tonight, but a big partnership was missing.”
New Zealand started well. Fast bowler Matt Henry removed Fakhar Zaman, who top-edged a pull to wicketkeeper Tom Blundell.
Shan Masood, who replaced Imam-ul-Haq, scored 44 at a brisk pace before he was stumped off Ish Sodhi, and Henry ran out Mohammad Rizwan off a direct throw from mid-on.
But that brought Babar and Salman together. Salman dominated the spinners with sweep shots as he hit 58 off 46 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
Henry plucked a brilliant low one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Salman, then Babar raised his century off 113 balls in another useful stand with Iftikhar Ahmed.
Babar holed out in the deep to give debutant fast bowler Ben Lister his first ODI wicket, but the world’s top-ranked ODI batter completed 5,000 runs in his 97th inning, surpassing South African Hashim Amla’s record of reaching the milestone in 101 outings.
,Result: New Zealand won by 47 runs; Pakistan take five-match series 4۔1
By Saif R Siddiqui