New Zealand beat Pakistan by 4 wickets, level series 1-1

SHARJAH: New Zealand beat Pakistan by four wickets in the second day-night international in Sharjah on Friday, levelling the five-match series at 1-1.

New Zealand were helped by an unbeaten 70 by skipper Kane Williamson and 58 by opener Anton Devcich as they chased a 253-run target in 46 overs.

Devcich and Dean Brownlie (47) laid a solid foundation of 103-run opening stand and later Williamson stood firm despite Pakistan hitting back briefly through left-arm spinner Haris Sohail’s 3-48.

Pakistan, who were 20-3 at one point, were lifted by Mohammad Hafeez, who made 76, and Misbah-ul Haq’s 47.

Paceman Matt Henry took 4-45 while Mitchell McClenaghan grabbed 3-56.

Henry struck twice in his opening spell to reduce Pakistan to 20-3 before removing top-scorer Mohammad Hafeez, who made 76, and captain Misbah-ul-Haq for 47.

Hafeez featured in two productive stands, adding 77 runs with Haris Sohail, and another 66 with Misbah, but was dismissed just before the second batting powerplay.

Mitchell McClenaghan got the key wicket of Younis Khan, and ended Pakistan innings in the 49th over with two wickets in three balls to finish with 3-56.

Pakistan had won all its 10 previous ODIs against the Kiwis at Sharjah.

Henry had opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad caught behind for a duck in the first over, and clean bowled Asad Shafiq between bat and pad as the batsman tried to flick the fast bowler.

In between Henry’s strikes, McClenaghan bowled an eventful second over when he had Khan lbw for a duck, only to see the batsman recalled by the umpire because the fast bowler bowled a no-ball.

Khan lasted only three more deliveries before edging McClenaghan to first slip, giving Ross Taylor one of his three catches.

Hafeez steadied the innings with Sohail (33), who scored a match-winning half century in the first ODI. Then Sohail pulled Corey Anderson’s short-pitched delivery straight to Taylor at midwicket at 97-4.

Hafeez hit nine fours a six in his 92-ball knock, until Henry returned and had him caught in the deep at 163-5, and Misbah was caught behind down the leg side two overs later after hitting two fours and two sixes.

Shahid Afridi briefly looked threatening in scoring 27 off 14 balls. He hoisted Adam Milne for two successive sixes but his skied his third attempt to Daniel Vettori at mid off, wasting his wicket with more than nine overs left, at 209-7.

New Zealand did well in the last 10 overs in allowing Pakistan only 55 runs, before McClenaghan, one of the three changes to the team, finished off the innings.

Pakistan won the first match in Dubai by three wickets. The third match will also be played in Sharjah on Sunday.

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