Pa­thetic Pak­istan routed by Boult

Sunday News - - CRICKET - ROBERT VAN ROYEN

THE Black Caps trounced Pak­istan by 183 runs in Dunedin yes­ter­day to seal the five-match ODI se­ries with two games to play.

De­fend­ing 257 at Univer­sity Oval, Trent Boult snared 5-17 as New Zealand skit­tled the tourists for a measly 74 in 27.2 overs.

It marked New Zealand’s 10th con­sec­u­tive win (across all for­mats), equalling the mark they’d pre­vi­ously achieved twice, and con­tin­ued the Black Caps’ un­beaten record at the ground.

Zim­babwe’s record for the low­est ever ODI score – 35 v Sri Lanka in 2004 – was un­der se­ri­ous threat when Colin Munro bowled Shadab Khan to leave the visitors 16-6 within 15 overs, as was Pak­istan’s low­est score of 43 (against the West Indies in 1993).

While they avoided the com­plete em­bar­rass­ment of break­ing the un­wanted records, you’ll be hard pressed to find any Pak­istan play­ers or fans smil­ing in the wake of the hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat.

With the West Indies al­ready dis­patched in all three for­mats this sum­mer, and Pak­istan on the ropes two games into the se­ries, many NZ fans were cry­ing out for a con­test be­fore the loom­ing tris­eries in Aus­tralia and the home se­ries against Eng­land.

It looked on the cards when the Black Caps, who elected to bat first, butchered a solid launch­ing plat­form by los­ing their last seven wick­ets for 62 runs, only for Boult to re­duce Pak­istan to 2-3 in­side four overs.

With Ross Tay­lor tak­ing three sharp catches at first slip – Azhar Ali (0), Mo­ham­mad Hafeez (0) and Shoaib Ma­lik (3) – it was as good as game over.

Hav­ing eked through to 9-3 in 10 overs, they quickly slumped to 15-5 four overs later af­ter Babar Azam was run out by a sharp Mitchell Sant­ner throw, and quick Lockie Fer­gu­son edged out Ma­lik.

Part-timer Munro even chipped in with two wick­ets. He can thank cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson for his sec­ond, af­ter he snaf­fled a one-handed screamer at mid-wicket to dis­miss Hasan Ali.

It wasn’t the only one-handed catch which got the crowd on its feet. With just the fifth ball of the match, Dunedin builder Craig Dougherty nabbed one in the crowd to pocket $50,000 cour­tesy of a Tui pro­mo­tion.

While it didn’t come back to haunt them, the Black Caps might look back at their fi­nal 10 overs with the bat and shake their heads.

Wil­liamson (73), Tay­lor (52) and Martin Gup­till (45) set a fine launch­ing plat­form on a slow and low wicket, as the home side ap­peared poised to set a big to­tal at 195-3 af­ter 40 overs.

But the Black Caps, bowled out with the fi­nal ball of their in­nings, could muster only 62 more runs at the windy Univer­sity Oval.

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