Blow Pakistan off the park
visiting batsmen hardly fired a shot, except opener Fakhar Zaman with 82 not out, and were well behind at 166-6 in the 31st over when rain swept in at 5.35pm.
It was a familiar tale for Pakistan, who have now lost six straight ODIs against the Black Caps in New Zealand stretching back to 2011. Despite their dream 2017 they hadn’t played an international since sweeping Sri Lanka in October, and after one warmup game struck a red-hot New Zealand side who relished the bouncy Basin.
Nelson will provide a warmer welcome for the tourists on Tuesday but New Zealand are at microscopic odds to close out this series, perhaps as soon as Dune- din on Saturday. No team had ever been set more than 300 to win a Basin ODI but Pakistan’s powerful top-six should have done much better on a decent batting surface. The chase was essentially over in the first, well, over, when Tim Southee struck twice in controversial circumstances.
Azhar Ali challenged his lbw decision that looked leg side but replays showed was OK.
Then the big one, world No 4-ranked Babar Azam, was trapped on the back foot by Southee first ball. It looked high, and ball tracker later confirmed it, but Sri Lankan umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge fired Babar immediately and with Azhar having used their one decision review he was gone.
Fakhar Zaman was Pakistan’s best batsman.