KARACHI: New Zealand avoid a series whitewash and deprive Pakistan of their number one ranking in ODI as they secure a 47-run victory in the fifth and final match of the one-day international (ODI) series held at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi on Sunday.
Despite Iftikhar Ahmed’s valiant effort, New Zealand’s bowlers proved formidable, successfully dismissing Pakistan for a total of 252 runs.
The right-handed batter made a solid effort to help Pakistan chase down 300 runs but wickets falling after regular intervals made it difficult for the home side. He scored 94 not out including eight boundaries and two maximums.
Agha Salman also remained prominent with the bat as he scored 57 runs. He also partnered strongly with Iftikhar to give hope of survival to Pakistan. They both scored an unbeaten 97-run partnership.
For New Zealand, Henry Shipley and Rachin Ravindra bagged three wickets each. After this loss, Pakistan also lost their first position in the ICC ODI rankings.
Earlier, Pakistani bowlers controlled the flow of runs in the last phase of the first innings as they managed to bowl out New Zealand for 299.
At one stage, New Zealand were looking to post 300+ runs on the scoreboard but a solid comeback by Pakistani bowlers restricted them below the 300-run mark.
Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled brilliantly in the death overs followed by Haris Rauf. The potent bowling duo helped Pakistan gain momentum in the end.
After deciding to bat first, New Zealand lost their opener Tom Blundell earlier but Will Young set the tone for the visitors. Young led his team from the front, scoring 87 runs off 91 balls including eight boundaries and two maximums.
Young and Henry Nicholls (23) partnered strongly for a 51-run partnership. Later on, Young joined hands with skipper Tom Latham to score 74 runs together. Latham contributed worthy 59 runs.
Mark Chapman, at one stage, gained momentum, but Shadab Khan took his priced scalp. He scored 43 runs off 33 balls.
Shaheen took three wickets, Usama Mir, and Shadab Khan bagged two wickets each whereas Haris and Mohammad Wasim Jr shared a wicket apiece.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Agha Salman, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf
New Zealand: Tom Latham (captain), Mark Chapman, Cole McConchie, Matt Henry, Tom Blundell, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Will Young
— This is a developing story and is being updated with more details.