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Williamson century sets up comfortable win for New Zealand

Kane Williamson led from the front for New Zealand
Kane Williamson led from the front for New Zealand

New Zealand 315-7 (Williamson 115) beat
Pakistan 166-6 (Zaman 82no) by 61 runs DLS
First One-Day International in Wellington

Kane Williamson scored a fluent century while Tim Southee and Trent Boult shared five wickets between them as New Zealand went on to beat Pakistan by 61 runs DLS method in the rain-hit first One-Day International in Wellington.

Pakistan won the toss and decided to bowl first. Mohammad Amir (1-57) started the proceedings with a maiden over but as Martin Guptill (48) was settling in, Colin Munro (58) switched gears with two fours and a six off consecutive deliveries to take the score to 62 for naught in the first powerplay.

Munro carry forwarded his form from the West Indies series and took on Hasan Ali (3-61) with another six and a four in the 13th over to complete his half-century but the speedster got his revenge as he induced an edge of Munro that was taken by the keeper.

Guptill was finding it hard to carry on the momentum but positive beginning from Williamson (115) meant, New Zealand reached the 100-run mark in the 17th over.

Williamson had a reprieve when Sarfraz Ahmed dropped him off Faheem Ashraf (1-58) in the 22nd over and at halfway mark, New Zealand reached 137 for one.

Shadab Khan (0-49) was treated roughly in his second spell by Guptill when he plundered him for a six and a four in the 26th over but he soon became the first ODI wicket off Fakhar Zaman (1-19) when he cut one to short third man.

Williamson reached his 33rd half-century in the 29th over but Pakistan made a brief comeback with the wickets of Ross Taylor (12) and Tom Latham (0). However, Williamson found a perfect supporting role in Henry Nicholls (50) as the duo brought the innings back on track with a 100-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Williamson completed his 10th century in ODIs with a boundary in the 45th over while Nicholls reached his fifty three overs later as New Zealand ended their innings with a score of 315 for seven as Southee (12 not out) played a useful seven-ball cameo.

A terrific opening spell with the new ball from Southee (3-22) and Boult (2-35) saw Azhar Ali (6), Babar Azam (0), Mohammad Hafeez (1) and Shoaib Malik (13) dismissed while Todd Astle (1-29) trapped Sarfraz Ahmed (8) LBW after his 23-ball vigil. Pakistan were reeling at 54 for five at that stage.

Their only positive in the innings came from Zaman (82 not out), who was trying to rebuild the innings with his 86 ball knock that had five boundaries and four sixes while Shadab (28) and Ashraf (17 not out) supported him briefly.

As Pakistan reached 166 for six in 30.1 overs, courtesy some fine stroke making from Zaman, rain arrived delaying the proceedings. The D/L target at that stage was 227 and unfortunately for Pakistan, the rain did not allow any further action as the officials called off the play.

The 61 run victory by DLS method handed New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the series with Williamson bagging the man of the match award.

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