New Zealand Hold On To Set Up Decider
New Zealand 299-5 (Williamson 123) beat
Pakistan 292-8 (Younus Khan 103) by seven runs
Fourth One-Day International, Abu Dhabi
Kane Williamson scored a century and Matt Henry delivered a steady final over as New Zealand beat Pakistan by seven runs to win the fourth One-Day International in Abu Dhabi and level the five-match series at 2-2.
Williamson's 123 helped New Zealand post a score of 299 for five with Martin Guptill also making 58.
However, needing 16 to win from the final six balls, Anwar Ali and Sohail Tanvir found Henry too hard to get away and he conceded just eight to wrap up victory for New Zealand.
The decisive fifth match will be played in Abu Dhabi on Friday (19th December).
Both sides lined up before the start of the game to observe a two-minute silence to remember the victims of yesterday's attack on a Peshawar school which left at least 141 dead.
Pakistan will also donate their proceeds from the game to families of the victims and efforts to rebuild the school.
Once the match got underway, New Zealand made a fast start with Guptill and Dean Brownlie (42) adding 81 for the first wicket inside 17 overs.
Williamson then reached 123 in 105 balls and was only dismissed when he was bowled by Mohammad Irfan off the final ball of the innings.
Irfan returned two for 53, also dismissing Ross Taylor for 26 while Corey Anderson (23) was the other man to fall, leaving Tom Latham unbeaten on 14.
Williamson struck 12 fours during his fourth ODI century as Tanvir, Anwar and Afridi all took a wicket apiece.
Henry bowled Ahmed Shehzad with the fourth ball of Pakistan's innings and he was swiftly followed back by Mohammad Hafeez (3) and Haris Sohail (13) as Pakistan, bolstered only by Nasir Jamshed's 30 in 46 balls, lurched to 59 for three and then 82 for four.
Up stepped Younus, who would eventually reach three figures for the seventh time in ODIs a matter of hours after he had said that playing in the game would be "very difficult" so soon after a national tragedy.
He struck four fours and two sixes as he patiently rebuilt th einnings with support from Umar Akmal (29) and then Afridi, whose 49 in 25 balls brought Pakistan back into the game.
However, Afridi and Younus fell in the 44th and 45th overs to Adam Milne and Daniel Vettori and after Sarfraz Ahmed had made 18 in 13 balls, he was caught by Luke Ronchi off Mitchell McClenaghan to leave Pakistan looking as if they were finished once more.
Tanvir hit 11 in 12 balls and Anwar made an unbeaten 20 in 13 to haul them close but they couldn't quite get over the line.
Henry picked up one for 68, Milne one for 39, McClenaghan one for 69, Anderson one for 40 and Vettori was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 53.
© Cricket World 2014