In the 3rd ODI against New Zealand, at Christchurch, Pakistan scored a challenging 293 in their 50 overs, aided largely by a century from Mohammad Hafeez and a blazing 65 from Shahid Afridi, while Kiwi pacemen Mills, Southee and Bennett took 2 wickets each.
Pakistan's innings got off to a disastrous start. In just the second over, Ahmed Shahzad was caught at slip off Tim Southee and the visitors were 2/1. Then just two overs later, Southee bowled comeback man Kamran Akmal for 6 and with Pakistan at 8/2, one thought they were going to repeat their debacle in the first ODI against the Kiwis, at Wellington.
But surviving opener Mohammad Hafeez counter-attacked belligerently, striking Southee for two back-to-back fours in the 6th over. Then the batsman got after Hamish Bennett in the 8th over, smashing him for a six and a four to take his side to 35/2 in 8 overs. In the 14th over, Younis Khan was foxed by a slower one from Jacob Oram and was on his way for 12 as Pakistan's woes continued at 55/3 in 13.3 overs. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq was the new man at the crease.
But Hafeez wouldn't back down. He hit Oram for another boundary in the same over. Hafeez had a stroke of luck in the 18th over, when on 49, he was nearly caught behind by a diving Brendon McCullum off Oram. Hafeez then smacked a four off newcomer Luke Woodcock to take Pakistan past 100 in the 26th over. Then he struck another four of Oram to take Pakistan to 150 in the 36th over. But Misbah was out in the very next over when Kyle Mills had him caught by Scott Styris at mid off for 35 off 64 balls.
Then Umar Akmal settled in with a six off Mills in the 39th over and hammered Woodcock for two consecutive fours in the 42nd over, before Hafeez reached his century. Then as the batting powerplay taken with Pakistan at 184/4, Hafeez cut loose. He hammered Southee for two consecutive boundaries and lofted Mills for a six to bring up Pakistan's 200, but was out next ball when the bowler had him caught by Ross Taylor at midwicket. Hafeez was on his way for 115 off 144 balls.
But Akmal kept up the momentum by smashing the following delivery for a maximum and rounded off the over with another boundary. In the 46th over, Shahid Afridi began blazing away, hitting Oram for two sixes and a four. He then clobbered Southee for a six and a four before knocking off two maximums off Bennett.
The bowler then cleaned up Akmal at the end of the 48th over, but Afridi was not done with business. He hammered three more fours off Mills in the 49th over, before getting caught behind off Bennett in the 50th for 65 off just 25 balls. Pakistan ended their innings on a competitive 293/7.