About the Match
New Zealand won the first ODI against Pakistan by 61 runs through D/L method and have taken 1-0 lead in the 5-match series; the two teams will go up against each other in the 2nd ODI at Nelson on 9th January. Pakistan failed to achieve the reduced target of 228 from 30 overs after a rain-affected innings break; they will try to bounce back with a better performance and a win on Tuesday. The hosts have proven to be a formidable force to reckon with, and will have the upper hand here; it needs to be seen if Pakistan can leverage the experience of their players to redeem themselves in the upcoming match.
Kane Williamson led the team from the front by posting 115 off 117 deliveries batting first; Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls contributed well by scoring half-centuries, and they helped post a gigantic 315 runs. The batting unit consists of players like Martin Guptill, who is returning to the team after injury and scored a well-made 48 in the first ODI, Tom Latham and Ross Taylor, who will be playing the 2nd ODI too.
Later, the bowlers had to defend 228 runs in 30 overs’ reduced innings, and they did a good job by putting up economical spells. Tim Southee and Trent Boult took 5 wickets between them using their fast-bowling skills while spinner Todd Astle dismissed one opponent to stifle Pakistan at 166 and win the match by 61 runs. Mitchell Santner also brings his spin skills and adds depth to the attack along with others like pacer Lockie Ferguson.
The Kiwis have been in tremendous form, playing in the domestic T20 season and winning matches against the touring Windies recently; they could pose a stiff challenge again on Tuesday.
Although the fast-bowlers put up a good show by containing the Kiwis’ run-flow with Hasan Ali claiming 3-61, and Rumman Raees, Mohammad Amir and Faheem Ashraf taking a wicket each, they couldn’t stop the hosts from setting up 315 runs batting first. Spinner Fakhar Zaman also dismissed one opponent and he got good support from Shadab Khan, who brings his slow-bowling skills to the table.
Chasing 228 runs from 30 overs, all-rounder Fakhar Zaman posted an unbeaten 82 but he got no support from other top-order batsmen like Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez. Middle-order players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed also failed to make an impression; Shadab Khan tried to revive the innings by scoring 28 runs while Faheem Ashraf pitched in with 17 off 12. However, they fell short by 61 runs and lost the match with D/L method in place.
The team has experienced players with bat and ball, but they are yet to adjust to the local conditions; having lost the first match, the visitors could surely put up a better fight to keep the series alive.
New Zealand has taken the lead in the 5-match series and could come out all guns blazing here; Pakistan with their sharp-edged pace attack could cause an upset here but we feel that the Kiwis playing in their own backyard, are clear favourites to win the second match too