Karachi: An electrifying half-century by Glenn Phillips helped New Zealand to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and made Pakistan wait for their 500th ODI victory as the visitors won their maiden ODI series in Pakistan at the National Bank Cricket Arena on Friday.
Phillips clubbed four sixes and four fours in a 42-ball 63 not out and added 64 runs in 44 balls for the seventh wicket with Mitchell Santner (15) as the 2019 World Cup runners-up slipped from 160 for two to 205 for six before recovering to achieve the 281-run target with two wickets and 11 balls to spare.
The two-wicket victory meant New Zealand will remain on top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League on 150 points irrespective of how the third ODI between India and Sri Lanka pans out on Sunday. India will remain second and Pakistan third on 130 points.
Likewise, on the ICC ODI Team Rankings, New Zealand have strengthened their position on top of the table, while Pakistan have maintained their pre-series ranking of fifth. Ironically, after winning the first ODI, Pakistan had a chance to top the ICC ODI Rankings and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, but losses in the next matches upset all expectations and calculations.
Prior to this series, Pakistan and New Zealand had locked horns in five ODI series of three or more matches in Pakistan in 1984, 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2003 with the home side winning all five. In the three bilateral series played in the UAE, New Zealand won the 2009 and 2014 series, while the 2018 series ended in 1-all draw.
Phillips was dropped on 51 by Mohammad Rizwan off Mohammad Nawaz, but by that time he had almost ended Pakistan’s chances of becoming the third side after Australia (592) and India (534) to complete 500 ODI wins. Pakistan will now have an opportunity to achieve the feat in April when New Zealand will return for five ODIs and five T20Is.
In the chase of 281 runs target, Finn Allen (25) and Devon Conway provided a 43-run start to New Zealand from 53 balls, before Conway (52) and Kane Williamson put on 65 runs from 73 balls for the second wicket. Williamson (53) and Daryl Mitchell (31) stitched a 52-run partnership for the third wicket in 61 balls before New Zealand suffered a middle-order collapse and lost four wickets for 45 runs, only to be first rescued and then steered home by Phillips.
Earlier, Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman stroked his first ODI century at home and eighth overall in 65 matches, as Pakistan recovered from 21 for two to 280 for nine in 50 overs.
Fakhar scored 101 off 122 balls with 10 fours and a six. He had reached his half-century from 65 balls with seven fours, while his second 50 runs came off 55 balls and included three fours and a six.
In the partnership with Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar added 154 runs for the third wicket from 161 balls. The stand was broken when Rizwan was bowled by Ish Sodhi after scoring 77 off 74 balls with six fours.
Down the order, Salman Ali Agha struck four fours and a six in a 43-ball 45. He later snapped up two wickets for 42 runs, but ended up on the losing side.
For New Zealand, Tim Southee took three for 56 and Lockie Ferguson bagged two for 63.
Scores in brief:
Pakistan 280-9, 50 overs (Fakhar Zaman 101, Mohammad Rizwan 77, Salman Ali Agha 45, Haris Sohail 22, Tim Southee 3-56, Lockie Ferguson 2-63)
New Zealand 281-8, 48.1 overs (Glenn Phillips 63 not out, Kane Williamson 53, Devon Conway 52, Daryl Mitchell 31, Finn Allen 25; Mohammad Wasim Jnr 2-35, Salman Ali Agha 2-42)
Player of the match – Glenn Phillips (New Zealand)
Player of the series – Devon Conway (New Zealand)
Result – New Zealand won by two wickets to win the series 2-1.