Kiwis romp to win over woeful Pak
New Zealand cantered to an eight-wicket win with 27 overs to spare against a lacklustre Pakistan.india Updated: Jan 14, 2004 16:43 IST
New Zealand cantered to an eight-wicket win with 27 overs to spare in the one-day fixture against a lacklustre Pakistanon Wednesday to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
After producing one of their finest one-day bowling efforts in recent years to dismiss Pakistan for a cheap 126, New Zealand were able to bat at leisure as they picked off the target in the 23rd over.
There was some movement off the pitch, but nothing to suggest it was as calamitous as Pakistan's batsmen found it when their top order was routed in the space of four overs, with five wickets falling for just eight runs.
The meagre target helped New Zealand opener Craig Cumming, who has been the least effective of a sometimes brittle batting line up, as he had time to play himself in and ended with an unbeaten 45 to repay the selectors faith in him.
Captain Stephen Fleming was full of elegance, particularly with his flowing cover drives, but he appeared to come unnerved when peppered three times on the body in one over from Shoaib Akhtar and he was dismissed by Azhar Mahmood in the next over.
New Zealand went from 84 for one to 87 for two as Hamish Marshall came and went, bringing in hard hitting Chris Cairns who hit four fours in his 18 off 17 balls as New Zealand exacted revenge after losing a one-day series in Pakistan last month 5-0, and the recent home Test series 1-0.
"We were very determined after the Test series to do well in the one-day series, and winning (the series) in four games is great," a delighted Fleming said.
"A series win against Pakistan after coming off 5-0 in Pakistan is something we will celebrate tonight."
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq conceded his side fell victim to injudicious shot selection.
"Our shot selection was very bad and the New Zealand bowlers were bowling on the right length," he said.
In a series where the captain who won the toss has bowled first and won every match, Fleming had no hesitation in putting Pakistan into bat when the coin fell his way.
Pakistan saw off the initial pace attack and comfortably reached 49 for one in the 14th over when the rot set in.
Saleem Elahi and Imran Farhat went in quick succession, nicking the ball to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.
Yousuf Youhana cracked a four off Jacob Oram, to see the 50 up, but that was the last moment he enjoyed as he played the next ball on to his stumps.
Four balls later, Inzamam was trapped leg before wicket by Cairns without scoring, then Shoaib Malik turned a ball from Cairns straight to Darryl Tuffey at square leg and Pakistan were 57 for six.
Moin Khan brought up his 3,000th run in one day internationals before being brilliantly caught by Cairns at fine leg off Tuffey's bowling for 15, quickly followed by Mahmood and Razzaq to have Pakistan at 87 for nine.
Only a flamboyant rearguard partnership of 39 runs by Akhtar and Mohammad Sami lifted the score into three figures and gave it some measure of respectability, with Akhtar the top-scorer with an unbeaten 27 from 28 balls.
Of the New Zealand bowlers, Tuffey was expensive at the start before settling down to take three for 35, Mills finished with two for 17 off eight overs, while Cairns at one stage had two for 16 of six, but his figures were distorted when he went for 23 runs in his seventh over.
First Published: Jan 14, 2004 05:28 IST