About the Match
New Zealand won the first one-day match by 70 runs
to take a 1-0 lead against Pakistan; they will now battle it out in the 2nd ODI which will be held at Napier on 28th January. Batting first, the hosts piled up a 281-run target for the visitors and the bowlers went on to defend it well and win the match. The Kiwis dominated in all departments of the game but they will be eager to do better with the bat and come out all guns blazing. Pakistan must perform better to draw level here and keep the series alive; they definitely have the resources to bounce back here on Thursday.
Henry Nicholls came through for the team as he posted a brilliant 82 off 111 deliveries; with the lower order showing grit and doing better than players like Guptill, Latham, Williamson, Elliott and Anderson, they posted a respectable 280 runs on board. While Santner and Matt Henry scored 48 runs each, McClenaghan scored a well-made 31 before retiring hurt; the speedster went down fighting and his injury prevents him from appearing for the upcoming match.
Bowlers Trent Boult and Grant Elliott took 7 wickets between them to demolish Pakistan’s hopes and with Anderson, Santner and Williamson taking a wicket each, they restricted the opposition from reaching the target.
They had serious problems facing the Pakistani pace attack and the top-order batsmen need to pull up their socks in the upcoming match to build a strong foundation. With players like Nicholls, Ronchi and Anderson in the middle order, they must focus on getting a big total if batting first. Their fast bowling squad is in very good form and with spinners like Santner and Williamson stepping up with consistent wickets, New Zealand looks confident to continue with their winning momentum.
They struggled during the chase for 281 runs and except for Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed, the others fell like a pack of cards being able to muster only 210 in reply to the Kiwis. While Hafeez scored 42 runs, Azam built the foundation with a well-made 62; Sarfraz was the lone fighter in the middle posting 30 off 29 balls but with not much support from others, they were all-out by the 46th over.
Earlier, the bowlers were very effective in stifling the Kiwis, who were put to bat first; Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir and Anwar Ali ripped through the famed top-order picking up quick wickets at a steady pace. While Anwar Ali and Amir took 3 wickets each, Irfan took 2 scalps to restrict New Zealand to 280 runs; however, the batsmen couldn’t impress much and lost the match by 70 runs.
Pakistan has a very strong bowling unit and a much-experienced batting line-up, which can help them bounce back here; they face a do-or-die situation on Thursday and will have to hold their nerves together and put up a solid batting effort, whether batting first or during chase.
New Zealand definitely has the upper hand going into the second one-day match but they will need to be cautious against the Pakistan speedsters; while the Pakistan is a strong team with a lethal bowling line-up, their batting is a little brittle making them unpredictable as a whole. Home conditions, excellent form and balanced line-up make Kiwis the firm favourites in this upcoming encounter