After winning the T20 international series against New Zealand with authority, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan side slumped to a 47 run defeat in the first One-Day International game against the Kiwis in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Kane Williamson won the toss and elected to bat first. But he soon started to regret his decision because pacers Junaid Khan and Shaheen Afridi started their proceedings by attacking the Kiwi batsmen. Afridi continued his good run by taking the wickets of openers Colin Munro and George Yorker in the first eight overs of the match and forced the Black Caps to reconsider their strategy.
But, skipper Williamson and veteran Ross Taylor started to build a strong inning for their team. However, Shadab Khan broke this crucial 42-run stand by sending Williamson back to the pavilion on the score of 27. The drama started when Taylor complained about Mohammad Hafeez’s action. The Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed and the umpire had a lot of arguments on the field. In the end, Hafeez was cleared and Hafeez bowled 6 overs in the match.
The Black Caps needed a big partnership to make a defendable total. Experienced Taylor and Tom Latham came to the rescue and compiled a brilliant 130-run partnership for the fourth wicket. This partnership took New Zealand over the 200-run mark.
But, Pakistan had some different plans. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan came back into the attack and picked 3 wickets in the 42nd over of the match. From 208/4, the Kane Williamson-led side went to 208/6.
He pinned Latham leg-before and did the same to Henry Nicholls the very next ball, before removing Colin de Grandhomme two balls later when he edged to first slip without scoring. Taylor also went back into the dressing room in the next room after playing a beautiful inning of 80 for his side. He hit 5 boundaries during his inning.
But tailenders Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee played some valuable knocks at the end of the innings and took their team to a defendable total of 266 in their allotted overs.
In response, the Men in Green had a disastrous start as they crumbled to 85 for the loss of 6 wickets, before skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (64) and Imad Wasim (50) added 103 runs for the seventh wicket.
But, it was Trent Boult who pierced through Pakistan’s batting line-up early on. He bowled Zaman off his pads before having Babar Azam caught at slip and completed his hat-trick by trapping Hafeez leg-before with a superb inswinging delivery.
By achieving this special feat, Boult has now joined the likes of Danny Morrison and Shane Bond as the only New Zealanders to take an ODI hat-trick.
Once Sarfraz Ahmed got out, the victory seemed impossible for the Men in Green and in the end the whole team was bowled out for just 219.
This win gave the Black Caps a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and extended their ODI winning streak against Pakistan to 12 matches back to December 2014.
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar