In a do or die clash, Pakistan stays alive in the World Cup tournament by outclassing New Zealand by 6 wickets at the Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham on June 26. Babar Azam resounding century and Shaheen Afridi amazing bowling spell helped Pakistan to stay at the 6th place in the points table.
'Sarfaraz &Co.' successfully pulled the reins on the opposition after restricting Kiwis batsmen to a below-par total, which Pakistan have subsequently chased down the target. Let us have a look at the highlights of the 33rd World Cup encounter between Pakistan & New Zealand.
New Zealand won the toss and asked Sarfaraz and his batsmen to bowl first on a tricky track.
New Zealand Innings
Kiwis openers started the innings on a bad note as Martin Guptill bowled in Amir's bowling for 5 runs with a single boundary. Another opener Colin Munro struggled to face Pakistan speedsters as he was out for 12 runs in Shaheen Afridi's bowling.
Pak fast bowlers came out all guns firing with the ball as they collapsed Kiwis to 38-3 inside 10 overs. Men-in-Green fast bowlers showed some discipline in the bowling unit as all the bowlers very tight line and length.
Inform batsman Kane Williamson also failed to score big runs on the board as he was got out for 41 runs in 69 balls with 4 hits to the fence before reducing Kiwis to 83/5.
James Neesham was the top scorer in the match as he made unbeaten 97 runs in 112 balls with 5 hits to the rope and 3 hits above the rope.
The middle order player Colin de Grandhomme scored 64 runs in 71 balls with 6 fours and 1 six before he was run out by Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Kiwis managed to score 237 runs with the loss of 6 wickets in their quota of 50 overs. For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi (3-28), Shadab Khan (1-43) and Mohammad Amir (1-67) scalped 6 Kiwis wickets.
Chasing the modest target of 238 runs, Pak openers Fakhar Zaman (9) and Babar Azam (19) failed to stay at the crease for a long time.
Babar Azam along with veteran Mohammad Hafeez retrieved the innings in the middle as the duo scored 66 runs for the third wicket.
The middle-order batsman Mohammad Hafeez scored 32 runs in 50 balls with 5 beautiful boundaries before being out in Williamson's bowling.
After then, Harish Sohail came into the crease and played some outstanding shots along with Babar Azam to keep the scoreboard sticky.
Both the batsmen made their 50's and put Kiwis under immense pressure as they needed 23 runs to win the game in 30 balls.
Babar Azam scored unbeaten 101 runs in 127 balls with 11 beautiful boundaries and Harish Sohail made 68 runs in 76 balls with 5 huge hits to the rope and 2 maximum hits into the stands.
Finally, Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed hit the winning shot with a classy boundary. For New Zealand, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Kane Williamson chipped a wicket each.
New Zealand: 237-6 (James Neesham 97*, Colin de Grandhomme 64; Shaheen Afridi 3/28).
Pakistan: 241-4 (Babar Azam 101*, Haris Sohail 68; Kane Williamson 1/39).
Player-of-the-Match: Babar Azam
In the next World Cup game, India will lock horns with West Indies at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on June 27 (3 PM).
(Video Courtesy: YouTube/ICC)