Pakistan 258 for 4 (Rizwan 77*, Babar 66, Fakhar 56, Bracewell 2-44) beat New Zealand 255 for 9 (Bracewell 43, Latham 42, Naseem 5-57, Mir 2-42) by six wickets
The Pakistan ODI method was on show. Stymie the opposition to a par total. Make them, and everybody else, believe that they are struggling in the chase despite a good show from the top order and then overhaul the target rather comfortably.
Fakhar Zaman hit a well-paced half-century•Associated Press
Fakhar and Babar then added 78 off 103 balls for the second wicket to give Pakistan a strong base. While Fakhar looked at ease for most parts of his innings, Babar did have a tough time when Bracewell and Mitchell Santner were brought on after the first powerplay. Even though he slog-swept a six and pulled a four off successive deliveries off Santner, Babar was a tad unsure of the turn with Bracewell and Santner varying the flight, pace as well as the angle.
Babar was ruled out lbw when he missed an arm ball from Santner on 24, but he was reprieved on review, with the tracker showing the ball would have missed leg stump. He also tried a few uncharacteristic reverse sweeps early against Bracewell. At the other end, though, Fakhar was milking the singles as well as using the sweep to good effect and got to his half-century. However, the partnership was broken when Bracewell sneaked one through Fakhar’s attempted slog to bowl him.
Naseem Shah picked up a five-for to stifle New Zealand•Associated Press
Naseem rattles New Zealand
Earlier, Naseem struck on the last ball of the first over as Devon Conway’s back foot conspired to help the ball ricochet on to the stumps after he missed a flick. Williamson and Finn Allen were taking time to get the measure of the surface.
But Allen finally started to get the ball to ping off the meat of his blade as New Zealand looked to put the slowish start behind them. He first hit Naseem for two fours in an over before smashing Haris Rauf for a troika of fours. But with aid from an athletic diving catch from Agha Salman off Mohammad Wasim, Pakistan managed to see the back of Allen for 29 off 27 balls.
Seeing the purchase – and turn – Mir managed to get, Babar pressed Mohammad Nawaz, and then the offspin of Salman, into service through the middle overs. New Zealand managed to score only 57 runs between overs 21 and 35, even though they lost just two wickets in the phase. Overall, the Pakistan spinners went for a combined 98 off 24 overs, picking up three wickets.
Latham was among the most fluent of the New Zealand batters and it seemed as if he would up the ante, given his strength against spin. But he only managed to pull a half-tracker from Mir straight to deep midwicket.
New Zealand were in a spot of bother after which Phillips and Bracewell added 66 off 75 balls. Despite not getting the big shots away regularly, the pair rotated the strike and helped the tourists get a base for a final-overs assault. So much so that in the face of mounting pressure, Phillips played out four dots before hitting Naseem for a massive six – the first of the game – in the 40th over.
But Naseem had the final laugh as he managed to dismiss both Phillips (37 off 53 balls) and Bracewell (43 off 42 balls) to hamper New Zealand at the death. He cleaned up Bracewell and Shipley off successive balls only for Southee to deny him a hat-trick. But a quick hand from Santner and Southee managed to see New Zealand cross the 250-run mark. It wasn’t enough, eventually.
S Sudarshanan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo