KARACHI: New Zealand set 300-run target for Pakistan in the last One Day International (ODI) being played at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi on Sunday.
Pakistani bowlers controlled the flow of runs in the last phase of the first innings as they managed to bowl out New Zealand for 299 in match.
At one stage, Kiwis were looking to post 300+ runs on the scoreboard but solid comeback by the Pakistani bowlers restricted them below the 300 mark.
Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled brilliantly in death overs followed by Haris Rauf. The potent bowling duo helped Pakistan gain momentum in the end.
After deciding to bat first, New Zealand lost their opener Tom Blundell earlier but Will Young set the tone for the visitors. Young led his team from the front, scoring 87 runs off 91 balls including eight boundaries and two maximums.
Young and Henry Nicholls (23) partnered strongly for a 51-run partnership. Later on, Young joined hands with skipper Tom Latham to score 74 runs together. Latham contributed worthy 59 runs.
Mark Chapman, at one stage gained momentum, but Shadab Khan took his priced scalp. He scored 43 runs off 33 balls.
Shaheen took three wickets, Usama Mir, Shadab Khan bagged two wickets each whereas Haris and Mohammad Wasim Jr shared a wicket apiece.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first against Pakistan in the fifth ODI of the five-match series in Karachi.
While it is yet to predict if Pakistan will inch closer to white-wash New Zealand in the game, it is a fact that the side’s skipper Babar Azam is playing his 100th ODI after starting his career in 2015 against Zimbabwe.
The Tom Latham-led team has made four changes, bringing in Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne and Henry Shipley for James Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Blair Tickner and Ben Lister from the previous game.
Pakistan, who have already clinched an unassailable 4-0 lead in the five-match series, brought back Shadab Khan in place of Mohammad Haris.
In order to cement their place at the top, Pakistan will have to win the series 5-0. A defeat in the last ODI will see them drop to number three spot with Australia reclaiming their number one ranking.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Agha Salman, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf
New Zealand: Tom Latham (captain), Mark Chapman, Cole McConchie, Matt Henry, Tom Blundell, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Adam Milne, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Will Young