Wellington - New Zealand cruised to a seven-wicket win over an underdone Pakistan
in the first of their two one-day internationals here on
After removing Pakistan for 210 in the 46th over, New
Zealand reached their target in the 40th over with Grant Elliott now out
64 and Ross Taylor unbeaten on 59.
The comfortable victory for
New Zealand underscored Pakistan's lack of preparation two weeks away
from the start of the World Cup.
It was their first ODI since they
were beaten 3-2 in a home series against New Zealand before Christmas,
and the lack of match play was evident from the moment they lost the
toss and were put in to bat.
The batsmen lacked timing and later
the bowlers struggled with direction against a New Zealand side which
had just completed a 4-2 series win over Sri Lanka.
launched into their chase at more than six an over with Brendon
McCullum, returning to the line-up after sitting out the last game
against Sri Lanka, blasting a rapid 17 before he was gone in the fourth
Tom Latham fell for 23 and Martin Guptill, who struggled
against the Sri Lankans, found the less pressured Pakistani bowling more
to his liking as he posted 39.
He was gone just after New Zealand
passed the 100 mark in the 18th over, 11 overs quicker than it took
Pakistan to reach three figures.
Elliott and Taylor then led New Zealand home, adding 112 in an unbeaten fourth wicket stand.
innings only nudged over the 200 mark thanks to a 71-run partnership in
38 balls by captain Misbah-ul-Haq and all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
Mills bowled Mohammad Hafeez with the fifth ball of the match which
started a slide that saw Pakistan at 127-6 in the 36th over before
Misbah (58) and Afridi (67) provided a little backbone.
But when Misbah went it started another slide with the last four wickets falling for 12 runs.
New Zealand bowlers were not menacing on the two-paced wicket although
Mills found plenty of movement and was also rewarded with the wicket of
Younis Khan for nine.
Trent Boult had Ahmed Shehzad caught behind
for 15 and Haris Sohail (23), Umar Akmal (13) and Sarfraz Ahmed (five)
quickly followed before Afridi took hold of the attack.
He offered one chance on 14, when he was dropped by McCullum, as he flayed away for his 67 in 29 deliveries.
who took the wicket of Misbah and mopped up the tail, was the most
successful New Zealand bowler with three for 26 while Mills, Trent Boult
and Corey Anderson took two apiece.