Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

De Grand­homme pow­ers New Zealand to vic­tory

- Agence France­Presse sportsdesk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

HAMIL­TON: Big-hit­ting Colin de Grand­homme blasted New Zealand to a five-wicket win over Pak­istan in the fourth ODI in Hamil­ton on Tues­day.

De Grand­homme blud­geoned the Pak­istan at­tack with an un­beaten 74 off 40 balls to rein­vig­o­rate New Zealand’s run chase as the hosts were strug­gling to reach a 263-run tar­get.

“Ev­ery­thing just seemed to be hit­ting the mid­dle tonight,” said de Grand­homme, whose in­nings in­cluded five sixes and seven fours.

The re­sult puts New Zealand up 4-0 in the five-match series and sets a new record for the Black Caps of 11 con­sec­u­tive in­ter­na­tional vic­to­ries.

The streak in­cludes con­vinc­ing wins over the West Indies in all for­mats of the game and keeps alive the prospects of an ODI series white­wash against Pak­istan in Welling­ton on Fri­day.

How­ever, it was a much im­proved per­for­mance from Pak­istan, who were skit­tled for just 74 in their pre­vi­ous out­ing.

They looked set for an­other heavy de­feat af­ter a hor­ror start saw them at 11 for two but Mo­ham­mad Hafeez notched 81 to set a com­pet­i­tive tar­get.

Oth­ers in the mis-fir­ing Pak­istani bat­ting line-up also found form, with Fakhar Za­man, Haris So­hail and cap­tain Sar­fraz Ahmed all post­ing half cen­turies.

Teenage leg-spin­ner Shadab Khan then claimed three of New Zealand’s top four bats­men to give Pak­istan some hope be­fore de Grand­homme’s match-turn­ing per­for­mance. Pak­istan opted to bat first af­ter win­ning the toss, pro­mot­ing hard-hit­ting all­rounder Fa­heem Ashraf to open in the search for runs. The gam­ble back­fired when Fa­heem de­parted for one and Babar Azam soon fol­lowed af­ter a dy­namic spell from Black Caps paceman Tim Southee. Pak­istan’s bats­men were able to steady the in­nings but only Hafeez man­aged to push on be­yond 50, smash­ing 22 from the fi­nal over.

Brief scores: Pak­istan 262 for 8 in 50 overs (F Za­man 54, H So­hail 50, Md Hafeez 81, Sar­fraz Ahmed 51; Southee 3/44) lost to New Zealand 263 for 5 in 45.5 overs (C Munro 56, H Ni­cholls 52*, C de Grand­homme 74*).

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