New Zealand lift Bank Alfalah Cup
Stephen Fleming's 65 drove New Zealand to a four-wicket victory against Pakistan, clinching its second overseas one-day title.india Updated: May 23, 2003 23:21 IST
Skipper Stephen Fleming's 65 drove New Zealand to a four-wicket victory Friday in the tri-series final against Pakistan, clinching its second overseas one-day title.
The Black Caps bowled Pakistan out for 198 in 50 overs and then rode on the foundation provided by Fleming to reach 200 for six in 45.2 overs.
The victory fulfilled Fleming's desire to add a rare overseas one-day tournament win to the 2000 ICC Trophy triumph. "We're very excited at this victory, it's a momentous win away from home," Fleming said.
Having broken a seven-match losing streak against Pakistan during the first of their two league matches, New Zealand's experience helped it prevail against a young Pakistani team that was missing its star bowler Shoaib Akhtar.
"We respect Pakistan as a one-day side, but we had more experience and that counts for something in a pressure game," Fleming said.
Akhtar was suspended by the International Cricket Council for two matches on ball tampering charges after television cameras caught him scratching the ball during Tuesday's final league match against New Zealand.
New Zealand had won the first league encounter by seven wickets, but Pakistan bounced back to prevail by 22 runs in the second round. Fleming struck three towering sixes and five boundaries off 111 deliveries to put the Kiwis on the victory course.
"I wanted to be the one scoring most of the runs and I told this to the boys last night," he said. "I had to stand up, and I need to do this more often and consistently."
Starting with a 54-run opening stand with Chris Nevin (17), Fleming went on to add 59 runs for the second wicket with Lou Vincent (13) before being caught by Younis Khan at covers off pace bowler Mohammad Sami.
Sami came back from an erratic first spell to claim three for 42, but Pakistani bowlers conceded 44 extras — the second highest score in New Zealand's innings — to miss out on their second successive title.
Pakistan won the four-nation Sharjah Cup last month after making changes in its team following a disastrous World Cup. Pakistani captain Rashid Latif said the Kiwis were deserving winners on Friday.
"New Zealand was a better side," he said. "Our total was a defendable one, but the 44 extras let the team down ... We bowled 25 wides."
Middle-order batsman Khan slammed a 70 off 85 balls, his 17th half-century in 83 matches, to give Pakistan a fighting chance despite a poor start.
With Pakistan struggling at 56 for four in the 20th over, Khan smashed seven boundaries and shared two productive stands with Shoaib Malik (34) and captain Rashid Latif (20).
Pakistan got off to a bad start by losing two wickets for just 11 runs.
Opener Mohammad Hafeez was caught behind by Brendon McCullum for a duck on the fourth ball of the match, giving pacer Daryl Tuffey a first-over wicket for the 11th time in 51 one-dayers.
Yasir Hameed, who made an impressive debut in the last league game against New Zealand on Tuesday, was then trapped leg before for six by Kyle Mills.
Debutante opener Faisal Athar (9) was snapped by wicketkeeper McCullum in the first over from medium-pacer Jacob Oram, who recovered from his back stress to play in the final. Oram (3-38) and Tuffey (3-32) emerged as New Zealand's main wicket takers.
Vice captain Yousuf Youhana struck three boundaries in his 56-ball 25, but was run out at the non-striker's end when a drive by Khan deflected off seamer Scott Styris' hand and hit the stumps.
Khan and Malik, the tournament's top scorer with a 74 in the last game against the Black Caps, bolstered Pakistan with a brisk 57-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
The partnership was starting to worry the Kiwis when Malik was deceived and bowled by a straight ball from left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori that he tried to cut.
First Published: May 23, 2003 10:00 IST