On the 25th of January New Zealand beat Pakistan by 70 runs. Here is the ball-by-ball analysis and the scorecard of the match.
New Zealand were destroyed and were on the ropes at 99 for 6 and were missing their 3 most experienced players. One of the best teams in the world, they came back like they have before at home and took the game away from Pakistan by 70 runs. But, how really did they do this ?
After the flop at the start of the innings, the innings was built on a stable 82 by Henry Nicholls, who was just playing his 2nd ODI series. The most surprising innings of the match was by numbers 9 and 10, Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenegen. They made a powerful partnership of 73 of only 33 balls.
When the hosts took the field they were missing the services of McClenegen as a result of a bouncer from Anwar Ali which went through the grill of the helmet, his presence was not felt in the bowling department. Grant Elliot, who is not expected to bowl in normal circumstances, made early breakthroughs with the bowl and finished 3 for 43 in his full qouta of 10 overs.
The Pakistani bowlers sent down a intense spell in the first quarter of the match. All the wickets and ground earned by Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Irfan and Anwar Ali was taken away in the end with a strong comeback. Amir was also seen hobbling off the field part-way through his eighth over, but did later return to bat.
There was a good 62 by Babar Azam, in the chase, but having moved at barely three runs an over in the Powerplay, Pakistan were always chasing a rising required rate. They lost wickets through the middle overs, and the lower order was cleaned up by Trent Boult, who took 4 for 40. Pakistan were eventually dismissed for 210 in the 46th over.
The scoring sped up after the Powerplay, but the acceleration was too gradual. By the end of the 15th over, the require rate had risen to 6.6. Azam and Mohammad Hafeez put on a sage 81-run stand off 93 balls to move Pakistan to a reasonable position – Azam especially quick to crash the short balls to the fence – but the required rate only kept heading north. When Hafeez was swallowed at long-on for 42 in the 27th over, Pakistan still needed 163 from 141 balls. Sohaib Maqsood continued his poor tour with a 16-ball 10, before Azam himself fell, having passed fifty. Aiming to make something of a flagging chase, he tried to pull a short Anderson ball, and sent the top edge to midwicket.
There was a sliver of hope as long as Sarfraz Ahmed was at the crease, but having hit three fours in his busy innings, he cracked a full delivery to deep midwicket in the 43rd over. He had made 30 from 29. With him went any real chance of a Pakistan victory.
The Cornered Tiger