By Ghulam Haider
A late charge by Glenn Phillips guided New Zealand to a two-wicket win over Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi. With this win, the BlackCaps clinched the three-match ODI series 2-1.
Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam won the toss and chose to bat first against the Kiwis in Karachi. New Zealand got off to a brisk start with Lockie Fergusen getting rid of the dangerous Shan Masood in the second over. Babar Azam was the next to fall, being stumped by Tom Lathan after misjudging a Michael Bracewell delivery.
However, a 154-run partnership between opener Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Rizwan got Pakistan back in the game. Rizwan went on to complete his half-century before being cleaned up by Ish Sodhi. Rizwan made 77 runs off 74 balls, smashing six boundaries on the way. Zaman also could not hold on to his wicket for long, being run-out by Henry Nicholls after completing his century. Zaman scored 101 runs off 122 deliveries, smashing 10 boundaries and a solitary six.
Haris Sohail looked good but couldn’t convert his start into a big score, being run-out by Nicholls after scoring 22 runs off 25 balls. Agha Salman took on the mantle of keeping the scoreboard ticking, playing a crucial knock towards the end of the Pakistani innings.
Tim Southee then decided to run through the Pakistani lower order, cleaning up Mohammad Nawaz before getting rid of Usama Mir and Salman. Mohammad Wasim was the last Pakistani wicket to fall as they ended their innings with 280/9 on the scoreboard.
In the second innings, Finn Allen got New Zealand off to a fast start but was run-out by Tayyab Tahir after scoring 25 runs off as many deliveries. Devon Conway went on to complete his half-century before being dismissed by Salman in the 21st over. Captain Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell stitched a 52-run stand before Mitchell fell victim to Salman, who claimed his second wicket of the day. Williamson went on to complete his half-century but was soon run-out by Mohammad Wasim.
Usama Mir then cleaned up Bracewell as Pakistan turned the tide of the game, leaving the BlackCaps reeling at 181/5 after enjoying a good start. But Glenn Phillips took matters in his own hands and started blasting the Pakistani bowlers all around.
Phillips stitched an important 64-run stand with Mitchell Santner, before the spin-bowling all-rounder was cleaned up by Nawaz. But Phillips kept on going, remaining unbeaten on 63 runs off 42 balls, helping New Zealand beat Pakistan by 2 wickets and clinching the three-match series 2-1.