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by Manuj Sharma Saturday 31 January 2015
New Zealand 213-3 (Elliott 64 no) beatPakistan 210 (Afridi 67) by seven wicketsFirst ODI, WellingtonScorecard
Grant Elliott and Ross Taylor hit unbeaten half-centuries as New Zealand romped home to a comfortable seven-wicket win against Pakistan in the first One-Day International in Wellington.
Pakistan had an ordinary start to their innings after being put into bat. They lost both their opening batsmen, Mohammad Hafeez (0) and Ahmed Shehzad (15) inside 10 overs.
Younis Khan (9) fell soon after and Pakistan were precariously placed at 32 for three by the end of 12 overs. Just when Pakistan were looking for a recovery with a 49-run partnership between Misbah-ul-Haq (58) and Haris Sohail (23), Corey Anderson got rid off Sohail caught at point.
Both Umar Akmal (13) and Sarfraz Ahmed (5) failed to get going for Pakistan as they slipped to 127 for six.
Coming in at a troublesome position, Shahid Afridi had just one intention. He struck nine fours and three sixes in his swift knock, bringing up his fifty in just 21 balls.Rescuing Pakistan from the embarrassment of a low total, Afridi and Misbah added 71 runs for the seventh wicket. The partnership ended when Misbah holed out to Tom Latham at deep mid-wicket off Elliott, in search of big runs
New Zealand wrapped up the innings quickly after the wicket of Misbah, picking Bilawal Bhatti (0), Afridi (67) and Ehsan Adil (6) for the addition of just 12 runs eventually dismissing the visitors for 210 in 45.3 overs.
Elliott (3-26) was the pick of the bowler for New Zealand. Kyle Mills (2-29), Trent Boult (2-25) and Anderson (2-47) got two wickets each.
New Zealand came out to bat with a positive intent as Brendon McCullum (17) started the proceedings with a flurry of boundaries. He hit four boundaries in his knock before becoming a victim of Bhatti (1-51).
Martin Guptill (39), who has been suffering from a lack of form, showed glimpses of his old self and got off to a decent start. Along with Latham (23), Guptill managed to build a 44-run partnership for the second wicket.
Latham, trying to play a cut, edged one off Afridi (1-39) to the keeper, while Guptill’s stay was cut short when he top-edged a short ball to deep square leg off Mohammad Irfan (1-60).New Zealand were relatively well placed in the chase at 101 for three at the fall of Guptill’s wicket.
Thereafter, an unbeaten 112-run partnership between Taylor (59) and Elliott (64) ensured that there were no more hiccups. Both the batsmen brought up their respective fifties as New Zealand were cruising to win.
Elliott played the aggressive role with eight fours while Taylor kept the scoreboard ticking at a decent pace, ensuring New Zealand crossed the winning line with ease
Pakistan bowlers failed to create an impact as Afridi, Irfan and Bhatti picked a wicket each.
Elliott was adjudged the man of the match for his all-round effort.
New Zealand lead the two-match series 1-0 and the teams now head to Napier for the final ODI on 3rd February.
© Cricket World 2015