Convincing win for New Zealand


Published: Saturday 31st January 2015 by The News Editor

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A century partnership between Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott saw New Zealand ease to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the first one-day international at Wellington.

The tourists were skittled out for 210 at Westpac Stadium despite the best efforts of Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi, who both posted half-centuries to add some muscle to their score.

New Zealand’s chase proved a straightforward one, though, as Taylor and Elliott replied with fifties of their own in a unbeaten fourth-wicket stand which carried the Black Caps home with 10 overs to spare.

Pakistan’s struggles began after just five balls when Mohammad Hafeez was clean-bowled by Kyle Mills without scoring.

Ahmed Shehzad (15) and Younis Khan (9) quickly followed each other off the pitch as the tourists wavered on 32 for three, but Misbah’s arrival steeled Pakistan’s nerves as the veteran began his steady progress towards his 38th ODI fifty.

His partnership of 49 with Haris Sohail was a profitable one but was ended by a Corey Anderson delivery when the latter was on 23, while the departures of Umar Akmal (13) and Sarfraz Ahmed (5) added to the concern within the Pakistan camp as they trembled once more on 127 for seven.

However, it was the experienced heads of Misbah and Afridi which again steadied things as the pair putt on a stand of 72 in contrasting style, with Misbah playing a patient role at one end while Afridi clobbered everything that came his way and passed his half-century in just 21 balls.

It was Elliot who eventually ended the show, tempting Misbah to loft one to Tom Latham at deep midwicket. His resistance was ended on 58, having faced 87 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.

That sparked the beginning of the end for Pakistan, with Bilawal Bhatti soon following for a duck before Afridi’s belligerent performance was brought to a close on 67, with Adam Milne making the breakthrough after the batsman have smashed nine fours and three maximums from 29 balls.

Ehsan Adil was the last man to fall for six to give Elliott his third wicket and leave New Zealand with a modest total to chase.

Brendon McCullum’s wicket for 17 gave the visitors some hope but no major wobble followed as fellow opener Martin Guptill was ably joined by Latham, with the pair moving the scoreboard on to 75 for two before the latter fell to Afridi for 23.

Guptill was the next man to walk on 39 but that simply paved the way for Taylor and Elliott and their march towards the target.

The partnership could not be broken, with Taylor notching his 29th ODI fifty on his way to an unbeaten 59 and Elliott posting a seventh one-day half-century, fittingly sealing the win with his eighth boundary to end the match on 64.

Published: Saturday 31st January 2015 by The News Editor

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