New Zealnad beats Pakistan in the First ODI
New Zealand were let off the hook by Pakistan as they fought back to win the first one-day international in Wellington by 70 runs in Mohammad Amir’s first ODI since his match-fixing ban.
The Pakistan bowler Amir, on his return, was the pick of the bowlers, taking three for 28 from 8.1 overs before injury curtailed his spell. When Amir was in full swing in the opening hour of the game, Pakistan were well on top and any hopes New Zealand had of getting above 200 were far-fetched as they floundered to 99 for six in the 23rd over.
Then some impressive bowling, led by Trent Boult who took four for 40 and Grant Elliott who picked up three for 43, ensured Pakistan’s response never gained any momentum and, despite Babar Azam’s 62, they were dismissed for 210 in 46 overs.
Pakistan had begun well and removed the dangerous Martin Guptill for 11 in the fifth over and when Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Elliott, Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi all followed cheaply, the tourists were firmly on top.
But that is when the Black Caps’ recovery started as Nicholls and Mitchell Santner put on 79 for the seventh wicket, Nicholls passing fifty off 71 balls.
When Santner departed for 48 with the score on 178 for seven, it brought Henry to the crease and the tailender swung the innings in New Zealand’s favour. Henry plundered four fours and four sixes in a 30-ball 48 not out and, after Nicholls departed 18 short of a century, was ably assisted by McClenaghan at the other end.
The damage was already done, leaving Pakistan chasing far more than they should have been, and their response began at pedestrian pace as they limped to 37 for the loss of the openers Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad after 11 overs.
Babar’s 62 off 76 balls and a 56-ball 42 from Mohammad Hafeez kept the scoreboard ticking over, but a steady fall of wickets left Pakistan needing 105 off the final 10 overs with just four wickets remaining. That was never on the cards and New Zealand picked up the final four wickets in the space of 17 balls to complete an easy win.
McClenaghan did not take the field for the hosts and went straight to hospital, later posting a picture on Twitter showing a heavily swollen left eye and cut on his eyebrow.