KARACHI: Pakistan were ecstatic. They must have thought they were in it after Kane Williamson’s solid innings ended with an anticlimactic run-out.
The crowd at the National Stadium here on a cold Friday night was roaring as it prepared for celebrations.
But what followed was not only shocking but terrorising for the hosts and their fans.
Glenn Phillips, who had hardly posed a threat in the first two matches of the three-match series, launched a counterattack, clubbing whichever Pakistan bowler came in his way for raining boundaries and sixes.
The right-hander left the crease, only after ensuring New Zealand’s two-wicket win in the final One-day International and a 2-1 series triumph for the visitors.
Phillips scored a 42-ball 63 not out studded with four fours and as many sixes and proved crucial in a tough-looking chase of 281 set by Pakistan, thanks to Fakhar Zaman’s century.
It was the first series defeat for Pakistan after three consecutive series wins and it also meant the hosts missed out on a chance of finishing top of the ICC ODI rankings.
Phillips, however, wasn’t flawless. He did make a mistake, one good enough to be called an opportunity for Pakistan. As Usama Mir, who had given his team a breakthrough with Daryl Mitchell’s dismissal earlier, found Phillips’ outside edge, only for wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan to spill it while the batter was playing at 51 and was definitely the most important scalp Pakistan needed.
Phillips was all New Zealand needed after the side’s top and middle-order had set up a solid base. But quick wickets fell — Mitchell found Usama at third man off Agha Salman’s off-spin before Williamson was run out at the striker’s end thanks to a bullet-like throw by Mohammad Wasim at third man to Rizwan for the latter to dislodge the stumps — leaving New Zealand jittering with 112 to win off 99 balls.
In came Philips, and only on his second delivery dispatched Usama for a boundary through midwicket and launched Salman for a huge six over square leg.
He treated a shorter one by spinner Mohammad Nawaz in a similar way before chipping Wasim down the ground for a boundary.
Phillips looked in total control when he used a short-arm jab to clear square leg off pacer Haris Rauf before lifting a slower one by Wasim for another big six over midwicket.
After Phillips scored another boundary off Haris, New Zealand needed only 41 from 48 balls. Accordingly, the dangerman slowed down. He scored only one more boundary as New Zealand eased across the finish line with 11 balls to spare.
Phillips had brilliant support from Mitchell Santner at the other end, with whom he notched up a match-winning seventh-wicket partnership of 64 runs off 44 balls as the latter added 15.
New Zealand made a solid start with openers Devon Conway and Finn Allen putting up a 43-run stand before Conway combined with Williamson for 65 off 73 balls for the second wicket.
After scoring five eye-catching boundaries and a six for 52 off 65, the left-hander became Pakistan’s second victim as he sliced Salman to Shan Masood on the off side. His opening partner was the first to depart, thanks to substitute fielder Tayyab Tahir’s direct throw for a run out.
Following Conway’s departure, Williamson and Mitchell teamed up for another fifty partnership and the latter showed attacking intent when he lifted Haris straight down the ground for a six but was gone after adding 31 to the total before his captain followed suit after scoring a 68-ball 53.
Earlier, a brilliant century by opener Fakhar and his 154-run partnership for the third wicket with Rizwan dragged Pakistan out of danger and helped the side post a decent total after opener Shan and skipper Babar Azam’s dismissals had left the side reeling at 21-2 as early as in the seventh over.
Fakhar smashed a well-paced 101 off 122 balls, scoring 10 fours and a six and was supported well by Rizwan, who ran brilliantly between the wickets, contributing 77 off 74 despite scoring only six boundaries.
The wicket-keeper/batter was the first to depart but by that point Pakistan had reached 175-3. Fakhar did not extend his stay for long after Rizwan was gone but crucial contributions from the lower middle-order, especially Agha Salman — the right hander blasting four boundaries and a six in his 43-ball 45 — took Pakistan to 280.
Shan — coming in as Imam-ul-Haq’s replacement after the first-choice opener was left out due to an injured hamstring — could only play two balls for nought in his first ODI since 2019 as he edged a well pitched out-swinger by Lockie Ferguson behind to wicket-keeper Latham in the second over.
Babar, who had hit half-centuries in the first two matches, was undone by a straighter one from Michael Bracewell to be stumped for four in the seventh before Rizwan walked in.
The right-hander scored his first boundary through a paddle sweep off left-arm spinner Santner but after that made most of his runs came through singles and doubles.
Fakhar showed first signs of being in form when he found a deft touch against Santner for his third boundary in the ninth over before punching the spinner through the covers for another as Pakistan reached 37-2 by the end of the 10th over.
After a quiet six overs, Fakhar welcomed pace back into the attack as he advanced down the track to clear mid-on off pacer Tim Southee giving Pakistan a much needed boundary.
Two overs later, Fakhar hooked Southee past square leg for his sixth boundary as Pakistan’s run-rate crept up to four.
Fakhar and Rizwan brought up their 50 partnership off 65 balls in the 18th over before the flamboyant southpaw reached his second half-century of the series with a pull through midwicket off Ferguson to take Pakistan to 83-2 by the end of the 20th over.
Two overs later, Rizwan slog swept for only his second boundary, bringing Pakistan to safety with 100 on the board.
The wicket-keeper batter reached fifty runs — a second for him as well in the series — with a cut for a single on the 53rd delivery that he faced.
After the hundred partnership was brought up off 111 balls in the 26th over, Fakhar launched Santner for Pakistan’s first six to clear midwicket before Rizwan drove Southee through the covers for his third boundary.
He intensified the pressure on the opposition with with a slog sweep off Sodhi for another boundary to take Pakistan 153-2 by the end of 30 overs.
Rizwan brought up his 150 partnership with Fakhar with a straight drive off Ferguson in the 33rd over, an over before he misread a googly by leg-spinner Ish Sodhi to see himself castled.
Rizwan’s departure had got things slow for a while before Fakhar released the pressure by pulling a shorter ball by Bracewell for his 10th four before bringing up his 100 off 120 balls in the next over with a single off Sodhi.
Fakhar’s innings came to an end soon after as he failed to complete a quick single thanks to a direct hit at the bowler’s end from Phillps at cover.
The fall of two quick wickets had put Pakistan into pressure with Haris Sohail and Salman at the crease.
That pressure, however, was slightly lessened when Salman launched Santner high and long over midwicket as Pakistan reached 206 with 10 overs to go in the innings.
Haris joined the party as he made room to smash Ferguson over the covers for a four in the next over. Salman then played an audacious chip over Bracewell’s head for his first four before his left-handed partner was run out in the 43rd over after adding 22 off 25 balls.
Salman danced down the track to dispatch Santner through the covers in the 46th over before Nawaz and Usama added a six each — both losing their wickets right after.
Salman hit two fours in a row in the 49th over off Southee, maneuvering one through square on the off side and one scooped behind before last man Mohammad Hasnain smashed Ferguson straight down the ground for four on the final ball of the innings.
Fakhar Zaman run out 101
Shan Masood c Latham b Ferguson 0
Babar Azam st Latham b Bracewell 4
Mohammad Rizwan b Sodhi 77
Haris Sohail run out 22
Agha Salman c (sub) b Southee 45
Mohammad Nawaz b Southee 8
Usama Mir c (sub) b Southee 6
Mohammad Wasim c Williamson b Ferguson 7
Haris Rauf not out 1
Mohammad Hasnain not out 4
EXTRAS (LB-3, W-2) 5
TOTAL (for nine wickets, 50 overs) 280
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-2 (Shan), 2-21 (Babar), 3-175 (Rizwan), 4-191 (Fakhar), 5-225 (Haris Sohail), 6-247 (Nawaz), 7-253 (Usama), 8-270 (Salman), 9-276 (Wasim)
BOWLING: Southee 10-0-56-3 (1w), Ferguson 10-0-63-2 (1w), Santner 10-0-64-0, Bracewell 10-0-44-1, Sodhi 10-0-50-1
F. Allen run out 25
D. Conway c Shan b Salman 52
K. Williamson run out 53
D. Mitchell c Usama b Salman 31
T. Latham b Wasim 16
M. Bracewell b Usama 7
G. Phillips not out 63
M. Santner b Nawaz 15
I. Sodhi c Salman b Wasim 0
T. Southee not out 0
EXTRAS (B-3, LB-4, NB-2, W-10) 19
TOTAL (for eight wickets, 48.1 overs) 281
DID NOT BAT: L. Ferguson
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-43 (Allen), 2-108 (Conway), 3-160 (Mitchell), 4-169 (Williamson), 5-181 (Bracewell), 6-205 (Latham), 7-269 (Santner), 8-279 (Sodhi)
BOWLING: Hasnain 6.1-0-42-0 (4w, 1nb), Haris Rauf 7-0-41-0, Nawaz 10-0-53-1 (1w), Wasim 5-0-35-2 (1w), Salman 10-0-42-2, Usama 10-0-61-1 (1nb)
RESULT: New Zealand won the match by two wickets.
SERIES: New Zealand won the three-match series 2-1.
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Glenn Phillips
PLAYER-OF-THE-SERIES: Devon Conway
Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2023
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