Pakistan lead the one-day series 1-0 against New Zealand after a three wicket victory in Dubai on Monday. The Black Caps batted first but after 10 overs Dean Brownlee and Kane Williamson were both back in the hut courtesy of Mohammad Irfan. The lanky fast bowler would later dismiss wicketkeeper/batsman Luke Ronchi on his way to 3/57.
The host bowlers continued to dismiss Kiwi batsman at regular intervals and at 155/6 it looked like a low total was on the cards. However Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori dug deep for the visitors. Vettori’s 27 from 25 does not seem overly convincing but on the back of Ronchi’s 23 from 27 and preceding Nathan McCullum’s unbeaten 13 from 15, aided Taylor on his way to a superb 105 not out from 135 deliveries.
Taylor smashed nine fours and a six as the New Zealanders recovered to post a competitive 246/7. In response the Pakistanis were under tremendous pressure. Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan were all back in the hut without reaching double figures.
Pakistan slumped to 124/6 and victory appeared improbable. However Haris Sohail and Shahid Afridi knuckled down and showed superb grit and determination. The pair added 110 for the seventh wicket.
In true Afridi fashion, the lower order destroyer hammered 61 from 51 balls including seven fours and a maximum. Sohail was somewhat more patient and was on 85 from 109 deliveries when the winning runs were hit at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.