Wellington - A solid 82 by Henry Nicholls followed by a ninth-wicket batting blitz
carried New Zealand to a convincing 70-run victory in the opening
one-day international against Pakistan in Wellington on Monday.
In reply to New Zealand's 280-8, Pakistan were skittled out for 210 with four overs remaining.
apart, New Zealand's recognised run-makers struggled against a fired-up
Pakistan attack, with the other six batsmen in the top seven
contributing just 47 in total.
The hosts were in a perilous position at 99-6 before Mitchell Santner joined Nicholls in a 79-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Henry and Mitchell McClenaghan then added 73 off 33 balls in a closing
onslaught to ensure a target which eventually proved too much for
After Azhar Ali (19) and Ahmed Shehzad (13) fell early, Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam lifted Pakistan's confidence.
They cruised past the 100 mark in the 23rd over, the same as New Zealand, but with only two wickets down.
the brittle nature of the Pakistan batting was highlighted as Kane
Williamson broke their stand when he had Hafeez caught at long on for
Azam, without attempting to boost the run rate, continued on
to 62 off 76 deliveries before he miscued an attempt to hook Corey
Anderson and sent the ball straight to Nicholls at deep midwicket.
Ahmed (30) and Anwar Ali (16) put on 35 for the seventh wicket but
their partnership ended when they tried to lift the scoring and Ahmed
was well caught by Anderson on the boundary.
Where the New Zealand tail had exploded, Pakistan's fizzled out -- with the last four wickets falling for five runs.
Boult finished with four for 40 while Grant Elliott, who removed
openers Ali and Shehzad as well as Sohaib Maqsood, took three for 43.
After being sent into bat on a windy Wellington day, New Zealand never really settled against a hostile Pakistan attack.
Openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham were both out for 11, with Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Amir taking a wicket each.
Amir in his second spell removed Anderson (10) and Luke Ronchi (5) in the space of three balls.
Ali also took a double in quick succession when he broke a 45-run stand
for the third wicket by Kane Williamson and Nicholls.
Williamson for 10 and two balls later bowled Elliott without scoring,
before returning later to claim the prized scalp of Nicholls.