Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
De Grandhomme powers New Zealand to victory
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*).