Exciting ODI Series Ends on a Wet Note for Pakistan and New Zealand
The third and deciding match of the ODI series between New Zealand and Pakistan. - a day/night fixture – was called off due to a heavy downpour resulting in a waterlogged outfield.
A ‘no result’ meant the series was shared between the two sides at 1-1. To Pakistan’s total of 279-8, New Zealand had replied with 35-1 in 6.5 overs, at the point rain arrived in Dubai City Stadium.
Pakistan 279 - 8 (Babar Azam 92, Fakhar Zaman 65, Haris Sohail 62; Lockie Ferguson 5-45)
New Zealand 35 - 1
Result - No Result
The pulling out of Kane Williamson, at the eleventh hour, left New Zealand, without its captain and gave the opposition, a huge advantage, before even the coin had been tossed. Tom Latham, stood in as captain today. Sarfraz Ahmed, keen to beat the Kiwis, in a bilateral ODI series for the first time, since 2011, won the toss and opted to bat first. In crunch games, historically sides batting first, are generally more likely to win and the Pakistan captain was right in his wisdom for bowling second, under lights.
Fakhar Zaman had a new partner in Mohammad Hafeez, standing-in for Imam-ul-Haq, who had been advised to miss the match, having taken a blow on his grille in the last match. Pakistan’s 50 was on the board in the 11th over. Not looking at his most fluent, Hafeez, whipped ‘Lockie’ Ferguson, clocked bowling at 146kmh, to long-leg, off the back foot, only to disturb one bail and was declared hit wicket for 19. Fakhar, near to his best after gaining confidence from his innings of two nights ago, had his sights on a big innings. Sadly for the crowd, after playing a maiden over (22nd of the innings) of Ish Sodhi, he holed out to long-on having contributed an eye-catching 65 off 77 balls with 8 fours.
At the half way mark, Pakistan at 114 for 2 (25 overs) were well placed, with Babar Azam and Haris Sohail, both timing the ball well, in their 108-run 3rd-wicket stand in 18 overs and taking their side into a dominating position. 200 for Pakistan came in the 40th over. Haris, the more assertive partner, hit 60 off 59 balls with six fours and two sixes and could have done far more damage to Kiwis bowling, had he not got out to a brilliant catch at deep square leg. Trent Boult, the leading strike bowler, conceded 80 runs with a solitary wicket of Babar, who unselfishly holed out to be dismissed for 92 off 100 balls with 4 fours an a six, in the penultimate over.
Pakistan only managed 38 runs in the last 5 overs as New Zealand bowlers were on target, particularly ‘Lockie’ Ferguson, who varied his pace and length to restrict the total down to 279-8. The fast bowler picked up wickets on 1st, 4th and 6th ball of the last over of the innings to finish with a career-best 5-45 off his 10 overs. Nevertheless it was a formidable total to chase, more so in the absence of the likes of Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Corey Anderson.
All eyes were on Colin Munro when New Zealand started their run chase, only to see the ever-improving Shaheen Afridi, breach through the defence of the big-hitting opening bat, out for a duck in the first over. Pakistan bowlers did not get an opportunity to make further inroads as after bowling 6.5 overs, rain arrived for the match to be called off eventually.
©Cricket World 2018