Iftikhar’s heroic 94 not out goes in vain as New Zealand seals the series 4-1
Iftikhar made a heroic 94 not out to keep Pakistan in the game, but it wasn’t enough as the hosts won the series 4-1.
Pakistan 252 all out (Iftikhar 94*, Salman 57, Shipley 3-34, Ravindra 3-65) was defeated by New Zealand 299 all out (Young 87, Latham 59, Afridi 3-46) by 47 runs.
In the end, Pakistan had gone one step too far. In the final ODI of the five-match series and the last game of their most extended home season in a generation, Pakistan suffered a 47-run defeat due to one lacklustre outing with the bat and a stretch of smothering excellence by Henry Shipley. With a 4-1 victory, Pakistan won the series.
New Zealand had 299 to defend thanks to half-centuries by Will Young and Tom Latham, but Pakistan’s disastrous first ten overs saw them lose wickets and struggle to score runs, setting them on an unstoppable trajectory. There was some hope through the middle, thanks to a 97-run partnership between Iftikhar Ahmed and Agha Salman, but there wasn’t much more after they were bowled out for 252. As a result, Pakistan lost their first-ever number-one ranking that they attained 48 hours ago, and New Zealand avoided a series of whitewash.
In a poor start to the chase, Pakistan created their issues. While Fakhar Zaman and Shan Masood struggled to find their groove, Adam Milne and Matt Henry were thrifty. In the first five overs, 12 runs were scored, and while Fakhar could hit a couple of fours to break the chain, Masood could not. When attempting to cut across the line after grinding to a 20-ball 7, he was unsuccessful in the eighth over after chopping onto a far too-tight ball.
However, tragedy struck when Latham gave Shipley the ball in the next over. Despite being praised for his scary consistency, Babar Azam only played five deliveries in his 100th ODI. Shipley’s first ball resulted in a stray shot cut right to the backward point, eliciting boisterous New Zealand cheers and silencing Karachi.
Following that, Fakhar appeared restrained, and neither he nor Mohammed Rizwan ever seemed credible. Soon after, Shipley caught the wicketkeeper-batter in front, and Fakhar’s troubles only worsened. He had never had a poorer strike rate after facing 45 balls before Rachin Ravindra eventually put him out of his misery for a tedious 64-ball 33.
Middle-order resistance: Pakistan finds hope in their batters’ fightback against New Zealand
Although the middle order is frequently considered weak for Pakistan, they will take solace in the resistance those batters displayed today. Iftikhar and Salman did minor damage to their World Cup aspirations by attacking a New Zealand bowling lineup with the top four on the ropes. They put speed ahead of wicket preservation so they wouldn’t get bogged down. There were a few missed opportunities, but when Salman brought up a 46-ball 50, the visitors knew that the game was still in play.
As could be expected, Shipley was the one to end the partnership by getting Salman to make a hasty off drive that missed Latham at mid-off. Following that, Iftikhar was up against the entire world, with little help from the opposite side. Ravindra returned to clean up, taking out Shaheen Afridi and Usama Mir in one over despite the good intentions of Shadab Khan and Usama Mir, who lacked Iftikhar’s stamina despite their strong intentions. Iftikhar shouted furiously at the opposing end, but Pakistan’s failure to maintain the strike resulted in Haris running out at the non-striker’s end. Iftikhar was devastated and was just six runs short from reaching his first ODI hundred.
New Zealand is led to 299 by Young and Latham.
Young and Latham had earlier helped New Zealand get off to a good start, but Pakistan subsequently took that foundation out from under them with sharp, wicket-taking bowling. Young’s extravagant 91-ball 87 had put his team ahead throughout the first half, and Mark Chapman’s lightning-quick 33-ball 43 accelerated the innings. The 299 the tourists eventually scored was more of a stutter than a sprint since Shadab and Mir struck twice at crucial times to bowl New Zealand out.
Latham made the right call for the third time in a row but opted to bat first, only for Pakistan to restrain the hitters during the opening powerplay. Tom Blundell holed out cheaply due to a hasty, errant shot he made, a whip off the pads off Rauf’s bowling. Young and Henry Nicholls plodded along for a solid 51-run stand, but that was all it was, with no real signs of gaining ground. The most exciting part of the game for New Zealand started when Mir ejected him.
One hundred thirty runs were scored over the next 19 overs. The Latham-Young position initially stood out. Young reached his third ODI half-century as his shotmaking improved and his confidence rose. Before Young’s fourth over, Shadab had already been eliminated for a four and a six over the onside. With Latham at ease at the other end, New Zealand was cruising thanks to a six-over cover, the shot of the innings, and a subsequent boundary through the offside.
Young was out when a beautiful ball from Shadab spun away and kissed his outside edge, but it did little to stop the run from scoring. A significant score appeared in the cards after Chapman, the game’s primary aggressor, savaged Agha Salman in an over during which he plucked 22, raced to 43 off 33, and New Zealand was set up at 206 for 3 with 14 overs remaining.
The turning point, however, resulted from an unfortunate dismissal, a missed sweep in which the ball tickled his gloves on the follow-through, and a magnificent catch by Rizwan, who was superb throughout the game. Just 83 runs would be scored in the final 14 overs as all seven of New Zealand’s wickets were lost, and they were all bowled out in the 50th over. Latham and Cole McConchie appeared to be able to carry on the attack, but neither could. A Mir strike took out Latham, and McConchie was replaced by Afridi for barely a cameo.
It was left to Ravindra to contribute most of the runs as New Zealand’s lack of batting potency in the lower order was abruptly shown. He would do so bravely as wickets kept falling at the other end till he, too, was taken out by Rauf for a 20-ball 28. With three balls remaining, Ish Sodhi was caught well short of his ground by a direct smash, leaving New Zealand nine down and needing one more wicket.
To have something to show for this ODI series, New Zealand knew their bowlers would have to perform above and above expectations. Their finest performance on the entire trip proved that a depleted New Zealand had persevered to the bitter end.
If you want to read more update? Go and visit out Melbet official website!