NELSON: Martin Guptill’s maniac hitting helped New Zealand secure a 2-0 lead against Pakistan courtesy a comprehensive eight-wicket win in Nelson on Tuesday.
Set to chase a revised target of 151 off 25 overs after losing over two hours to rain, the New Zealand opener switched gears effortlessly to polish off the target with seven balls to spare. Guptill (86 not out) was well complemented by Ross Taylor, who stayed unbeaten on 45.
Defending a modest 246, Mohammed Amir provided Pakistan an ideal start with the ball by taking out the dangerous Colin Munro, who edged to third man to bag a two-ball duck. Five balls later, Amir convinced skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to review a lbw call turned down against Kane Williamson when he hadn’t even opened his account. While Williamson did survive the review – the ball tracked to be bouncing over the stumps – he didn’t last long enough afterwards. Shadab Khan took a screamer at backward point to cut short the New Zealand captain’s stay in the middle, reducing the opponents to 47 for 2. Rain arrived shortly afterwards – with New Zealand on 64 for 2 after 14 overs – and only got heavier for the next hour. Having lost more than two hours of play, New Zealand’s target was recalculated to 151 from 25 overs. Effectively, the hosts needed 87 off 66 balls once the play resumed but also had to keep up with the DLS par score in case rain made an appearance again. Fittingly, Guptill assumed the role of the aggressor and the renewed approach was on display when he dispatched Hasan Ali into the stands on consecutive deliveries in his comeback over, before picking his third six in quick succession, of Shadab Khan, to race to 54 off 50 deliveries. While Guptill did bulk of the damage, Taylor too helped himself to a couple of boundaries along the way. Though, the former skipper was lucky to be reprieved twice in quick succession – on 18 with Babar Azam missing a direct-hit and then on 30 with the top-edge falling just short of Inam-ul-Haq at short fine-leg.
The 16, 17 and 18th over of New Zealand’s chase produced a total of 41 runs and the equation was brought down to a very manageable 42 required off as many deliveries. Not that it slowed down Guptill. The opener continued his six-hitting spree to knock off the remaining runs almost singlehandedly while hapless Pakistan fielders could only watch the ball run to the fence, or sail over it.
Azhar Ali lbw Southee 6
Imam-ul-Haq c Munro b Boult 2
Babar Azam c Taylor b Ferguson 10
M Hafeez c Guptill b Santner 60
Shoaib Malik c Southee b Astle 27
Sarfraz Ahmed st Latham b Astle 3
Shadab Khan c Latham b Ferguson 52
Faheem Ashraf c Southee b Ferguson 7
Hasan Ali c Astle b Southee 51
Mohammad Amir not out 8
Rumman Raees not out 6
Extras: (b1, w12, nb1) 14
Total: (for 9 wickets; 50 overs) 246
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Imam-ul-Haq), 2-14 (Azhar Ali), 3-39 (Babar Azam), 4-84 (Shoaib Malik), 5-108 (Sarfraz Ahmed), 6-127 (Mohammad Hafeez), 7-141 (Faheem Ashraf), 8-211 (Hasan Ali), 9-239 (Shadab Khan)
Bowling: Southee 10-1-57-2 (3w), Boult 10-0-54-1 (1nb), Santner 10-1-34-1, Ferguson 10-0-39-3 (4w), Astle 7-0-50-2 (1w), Munro 3-0-11-0
New Zealand (revised target 151 in 25 overs)
M. Guptill not out 86
C. Munro c Faheem b Amir 0
K. Williamson c Shadab b Faheem 19
R. Taylor not out 45
Extras: (nb 1) 1
Total: (for 2 wickets; 23.5 overs) 151
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Munro), 2-47 (Williamson)
Bowling: Amir 5-1-18-1, Rumman Raees 4.5-0-37-0 (1nb), Faheem 5-0-30-1, Hasan 5-0-37-0, Shadab 4-0-29-0
Result: New Zealand won by eight wickets
Series: New Zealand lead 2-0
Umpires: Chris Brown (NZL), Richard Illingworth (ENG)
TV umpire: Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)
Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS).