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Pak beat NZ by 2 wickets in thriller

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Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2011, 14:45 [IST]
 
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Pak beat NZ by 2 wickets in thriller

Chasing 262/7, Pakistan overcame a spirited bowling effort from New Zealand to win the 4th ODI against the Kiwis by 2 wickets in a cliffhanger and go 2-1 up in the 6-match series. Misbah-ul-Haq top-scored with an unbeaten 93 and Scott Styris took 3 wickets.

Ahmed Shehdzad, with Mohammad Hafeez for company, gave Pakistan a blistering start to their innings, striking two fours each of seamers Hamish Bennett and Tim Southee in the 2nd and 3rd overs, respectively. Then his partner Hafeez followed suit, smacking first-change bowler Nathan McCullum for a couple more boundaries to take the tourists to 42/1 in 8 overs.

But in the very next over, Ross Taylor snapped him up at slip off Bennett and Pakistan were 43/1. The new batsman Kamran Akmal and Shehzad teamed up to each knock a four of Daniel Vettori's off-spinners in the 10th over, taking Pakistan past 50 in the process.

In Vettori's next over, Shehzad lofted him for a six, but his belligerent run was brought to an end in the 14th over when he flicked Scott Styris straight into the hands of Taylor at short midwicket. Shehzad was out for 42 off just as many balls and Pakistan were 71/2 in 13.4 overs.

Kamran couldn't hold out much longer and perished in similar fashion, again to Styris with Pakistan in a spot of trouble at 84/3 in 17.4 overs. But captain Misba-ul-Haq and Younis Khan steadied the innings, taking the tourists past 100 in the 23rd over and pressing ahead. In the 31st over, Mishab struck Southee for two boundaries and in the following over, ran a couple to bring up Pakistan's 150.

The batting duo then took 8 runs off the 34th over, reducing the deficit to exactly 100 runs required in 16 overs. But with the score at 173/3 in 37 overs, Younis Khan was run out for 42 off 63 balls. And just as the batting powerplay was taken ion the 42nd over, Vettori got the wicket of Akmal for 10 and Shahid Afridi for 4, as Pakistan slumped to 198/6. At

the end of that over, the tourists still needed 61 runs off 42 balls, having just crossed 200.

In the 44th over, Misbah and Abdul Razzaq teamed up to take 17 runs of Tim Southee including 1 six from the latter batsman and 2 fours from the former. The equation was reduced to 45 required off 36 balls. Then with knocking off 9 runs from the 45th over, Pakistan needed 36 off 30 balls.

In the 47th over, Razzaq struck a four, but was out 4 balls later to Bennett. The batsman was on his way for 23 of 18 balls with Pakistan still requiring 25 off 19. Then Misbah took charge, striking a six and a four off Styris in the 48th over to reduce the equation to 13 required off 15 balls.

But Styris directed his retaliation at the other end, removing Wahab Riaz for a duck. Pakistan were 250/8 in 47.5 overs. New batsman Sohail Tanvir came out with all guns blazing, getting Southee away for two consecutive fours, a double and then another boundary to wrap up the match by 2 wickets.

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