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New Zealand falls short against Pak

Forlorn New Zealand cricketers admitted Thursday that when it comes to one-day cricket at present Pakistan has it, and they don't.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2004 10:37 IST

Forlorn New Zealand cricketers admitted Thursday that when it comes to one-day cricket at present Pakistan has it, and they don't.

Although the series is locked at 1-1, Pakistan clearly outplayed New Zealand to win Wednesday's second match by six wickets with three overs to spare, while New Zealand only won the first match thanks to lusty late hitting by Scott Styris and Brendon McCullum.

In both matches most of New Zealand's top order failed to fire and their bowlers failed to contain, particularly in the latter overs.

"It's pretty simple at the top, you've got a set job to do, get through the new ball and enable players to come in at the right times at 25-30 overs," New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said.

"We're falling short of setting that platform."

In contrast to New Zealand's top-order staggers, Pakistan did it at the top when it mattered.

In the second match, prolific opener Imran Farhat scored 87 off 104 balls and added 143 in 25 overs for the third wicket with Yousuf Youhana who was unbeaten on 88 at the end.

Both worked the sharp singles and didn't take undue risks, unlike the New Zealanders who perished going for the big shots after being sent in to bat.

"You saw two very good players give us a lesson in one-day batting and that was the winning of the game," Fleming said.

"They took any pressure they had on them and put it straight back on us in the 30-over period which was quality. It was very good cricket and an education for a lot of us."

New Zealand selector-coach John Bracewell resisted making any knee-jerk changes for the third match in the series at Christchurch on Saturday.

The only omission was allrounder Andre Adams who paid the price for his expensive bowling in the first game.

The batting will be given another chance although there are problems in the top six.

Greenhorns Craig Cumming and Hamish Marshall are still awaiting their first big score of the series, Fleming has gone twice in the 40s, while senior men Craig McMillan and Chris Cairns both appear to lack confidence.

The New Zealand top order were also restricted by the accurate pace of Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed and Abdul Razzaq while spinner Shoaib Malik took the key wickets of Fleming and McMillan.

Pakistan has not needed speed king Shoaib Akhtar, who missed the first two matches with a groin injury, but may be in line to return on Saturday.

First Published: Jan 08, 2004 10:37 IST