(Above and Below) Pakistan cricketers Fakhar Zaman (Above) and Shaheen Shah Afridi in action during the second one day global (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Shaheen Afridi had removed opener Colin Munro (0) in the first over of the innings to give Pakistan a ideal start in defense of 279.
Consistency has never been a strong point for Pakistan, who, over the years, have built a formidable reputation as a side with a legendary ability to self-destruct. This was the first-time ever that rain had washed out an ODI match in the UAE.
Recently, Pakistan took on New Zealand in Dubai. His departure brought together Azam and Sohail and together they steered the innings forward, adding 108 runs for the third wicket.
Babar Azam, who has been in fine form in the Twenty20 Internationals, continued his great run and was assisted well by Haris Sohail.
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Boult was the unlikely man Pakistan chose to target today.
Pakistan and New Zealand will square off in the last game of the ODI series. Even when he came on in the death overs, he couldn't quite pull things back the way he's done so expertly of late.
The pulling out of Kane Williamson, at the eleventh hour, left New Zealand, without its captain and gave the opposition, a huge advantage, before even the coin had been tossed.
Pakistan's other left-handed opener, Imam-ul-Haq, was rushed to a hospital for precautionary tests after he was hit on the grille by Lockie Ferguson's sharp bouncer before Pakistan built its victory around Zaman and Azam's century stand. Sadly for the crowd, after playing a maiden over (22nd of the innings) of Ish Sodhi, he holed out to long-on having contributed an eye-catching 65 off 77 balls with 8 fours. He quietly kept the scorecard ticking when Haris was on fire.
Lockie Ferguson was the bowler that once more most anxious Pakistan, and it was perhaps his efforts that prevented Pakistan from getting to 300, a real possibility at one stage. Their combined figures of 18-0-79-6 helped undo some of the carnage Pakistan had wreaked on some of their team-mates. Lockie Ferguson was the pick of the Kiwi bowlers as he scalped five wickets for 45 runs in his stipulated 10 overs. The final ODI match of the series will be played in Dubai on Sunday.