The fans of Pakistani cricket team have seen many glorious days off late, but Saturday (January 6) was not one of them. The green shirts’ loyalists had to wake up before the sun could, only to see their bowlers getting a sort of treatment from Kane Williamson’s men.
Yesterday, India had a very tough outing against South Africa in the first Test match of the series, and today Pakistan have lost the first ODI against New Zealand, which highlights the plight of the Asian greats in overseas conditions. Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss here at the Basin Reserve in Wellington and asked Munro & Co. to call their shots first.
They obliged, and the Blackcaps went off to a fiery start. Munro has put his feet on the accelerator right when he needed to – before the IPL auction. After he was dismissed for a quick-fire 58, Williamson joined the party alongside Guptill. The duo put up a good partnership before the latter was dismissed by Fakhar Zaman. Guptill missed out on his 33rd ODI fifty by a couple of runs.
Ross Taylor and Tom Latham couldn’t contribute much, but Williamson found a worthy enough partner in Henry Nicholls to support him and to make things worse for the visitors, another humongous partnership was built. The Kiwi skipper scored his 10th ODI ton, and Nicholls amassed 50 odd runs.
Pakistan had to chase down a target of 316, and with Southee gushing in from one end and Boult from the other, it looked unlikely. Had the top order put up a great start like the home side, it could have been a closely contested game. But if a Pakistani fan took a long break after New Zealand’s innings for a power nap or something, he would have been surprised when he again switched on his TV. In the blink of an eye, Pakistan were 54/5.
The game was all but over by then, but Fakhar Zaman continued his fight alongside Shadab Khan. This continued for around 11 overs after Southee and Boult annihilated the visitors, but Shadab finally surrendered to Boult after scoring a hard-fought 28. But the hero of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy triumph, Zaman was perhaps made of a different material, as he continued to fight on, this time with Faheem Ashraf on the other end.
His heroics were cut short by rain, which forced the game to be called off. Pakistan managed to put 166 runs on the board for the loss of 6 wickets after 30.1 overs were bowled. Duckworth and Lewis were called upon to do the maths, and they declared New Zealand victorious by a margin of 61 runs. It was a great fightback from Zaman, but none barring him could turn up. Hence, the Pakistani team is getting some stick on Twitter.