Kane Williamson yet again showed his prowess as one of the rising stars in the game with a steady knock of 70 to take New Zealand home by four wickets against Pakistan to level the One-Day International (ODI) series 1-1. The Kiwi skipper’s knock came at the back of a clinical bowling display from Matt Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan, who bundled Pakistan out for 255.
The match started with New Zealand getting a vice like grip in the early exchanges, snaring three wickets even before the fifth over was bowled. It was Mohammad Hafeez who staged a valiant fightback through some valuable contributions in the middle and lower order. The hero of the first ODI, Haris Sohail and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq joined Hafeez to stem the rut and a blitzkrieg cameo from Shahid Afridi was enough to take Pakistan 252.
The Black Caps pacers however, were on target and the harmless nature of the wicket was evident in the manner in which the New Zealand openers went about with the chase. Playing crisp shots with low risk cricket, Dean Brownlie and Anton Devcich wore the bowlers down and notched a 103-run partnership. It was then that Pakistan clawed their way back in the game in spectacular fashion. Afridi cleaned up Brownlie and three more wickets fell in quick succession to put New Zealand in a spot of bother. There was panic in the camp when Corey Anderson was sent packing by Sohail but Luke Ronchi calmed the dressing room with a sparkling cameo.
The New Zealand wicketkeeper struck a flurry of boundaries to take New Zealand within touching distance and Williamson lead by example to finish proceedings with Daniel Vettori to make amends for the agonizing loss in the first ODI to level the series.
Pakistan 252 in 48.3 Overs (Mohammad Hafeez 76, Misbah-ul-Haq 47; Matt Henry 4 for 45, Mitchell McClenaghan 3 for 56) lost to New Zealand 255 for 6 in 46 Overs (Anton Devcich 58, Kane Williamson 70*, Haris Sohail 3 for 48) by 4 wickets.