Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs Pakistan 5th ODI 2023

New Zealand 299 all out (Young 87, Latham 59, Afridi 3-46) beat Pakistan 252 all out (Iftikhar 94*, Salman 57, Shipley 3-34, Ravindra 3-65) by 47 runs

In the end, it all proved one step too far for Pakistan. One indifferent performance with the bat, coupled with a spell of suffocating brilliance by Henry Shipley, saw Pakistan slump to a 47-run defeat in the final ODI of the five-match series, and the final game of their longest home season in a generation. Pakistan clinched the series 4-1.
Half-centuries by Will Young and Tom Latham had given New Zealand 299 to defend, but an opening ten overs where Pakistan lost wickets and struggled for runs set them on a an irrecoverable course. Iftikhar Ahmed and Agha Salman provided some hope through the middle with a 97-run partnership, but there was little to follow as they were bowled out for 252. It means New Zealand avoid a series whitewash, while Pakistan fail to hold onto the number one ranking they achieved for the first time 48 hours ago.

Pakistan created their own problems in a lacklustre start to the chase. Adam Milne and Matt Henry were parsimonious, while Fakhar Zaman and Shan Masood both struggled for rhythm. The first five overs saw 12 runs scored, and while Fakhar managed a couple of fours to break the shackles, Masood couldn’t seem to break free. His downfall came in the eighth over, chopping on to a ball that was much too close for the slash across the line he attempted after grinding to a 20-ball 7.

But disaster struck when Latham handed Shipley the ball the following over. Babar Azam’s frightening consistency has received much acclaim, but in his 100th ODI, he lasted just five deliveries. A loose shot carved straight to backward point off Shipley’s first ball set off raucous New Zealand celebrations, and stunned Karachi into silence.

Even Fakhar appeared to be reined in after that, and neither him nor Mohammed Rizwan ever looked totally convincing. Shipley trapped the wicketkeeper-batter in front soon after, and Fakhar’s struggles were only increasing. Rachin Ravindra finally put him out of his misery for a turgid 64-ball 33; he has never had a lower strike rate after facing 45 balls.

Pakistan are often perceived to be vulnerable in the middle order, but they will draw comfort from the resistance those batters offered today. Iftikhar and Salman did their World Cup chances little harm with a glittering partnership, taking the attack to a New Zealand bowling line-up which had the top four on a leash. They wouldn’t get bogged down and didn’t prioritise wicket-preservation. There were a couple of dropped chances, but as Salman brought up a 46-ball 50, the visitors were well aware this game was alive and well.

It was, perhaps predictably, Shipley who broke the partnership, inducing Salman into an uppish off drive that didn’t clear Latham at mid-off. Thereafter, it was Iftikhar vs the world, little support forthcoming from the other end. Shadab Khan and Usama Mir showed positive intent but didn’t have Iftikhar’s staying power, and Ravindra came back to mop up, removing Mir and Shaheen Afridi in one over. Iftikhar raged away at the other end, but the need to keep the strike would prove Pakistan’s downfall, with Haris run out at the non-striker’s end. It came with a distraught Iftikhar just six runs away from his first ODI hundred.

Will Young scored a 91-ball 87•PCB

Young, Latham lead New Zealand to 299

Earlier, Young and Latham set New Zealand up, but incisive, wicket-taking bowling from Pakistan then knocked that platform from right underneath their feet. Young’s flamboyant 91-ball 87 had put his side in the ascendancy through the first half, and Mark Chapman’s quickfire 33-ball 43 turbocharged the innings. But Shadab and Mir each struck twice at key moments to kneecap New Zealand, and as the fast bowlers joined the party at the death, the 299 the visitors ended up with was more a stumble than a sprint.

Latham called correctly for the third time running but chose to bat first this time, only for Pakistan to shackle the batters in the first powerplay. A rash, loose shot from Tom Blundell – a whip off the pads off Rauf’s bowling – saw him hole out cheaply. Henry Nicholls plodded along with Young for a steady 51-run stand, but that’s all it really was, never really threatening to recover momentum. It was only when Mir dismissed him that New Zealand’s brightest passage of play began.

The next 19 overs saw 130 runs scored. At first, it was the Latham-Young stand that shone. Young reached his third ODI half-century, he grew in confidence and the shotmaking became more destructive. Shadab was dispatched for a four and a six over the onside, before Young really went after him in his fourth over. It included a six over cover – the shot of the innings – and then another boundary through the offside, and with Latham looking comfortable at the other end, New Zealand were rollicking along.

Young’s fall came to a lovely ball spinning away and kissing his outside edge off Shadab, but it did little to stem the runscoring. Chapman was the chief aggressor, savaging Agha Salman in an over that saw him plunder 22, and when he had raced along to 43 off 33 and New Zealand were set up at 206 for 3 with 14 overs to go, a huge score seemed on the cards.

But an unlucky dismissal, a missed sweep that saw the ball tickle his gloves on the follow-through – combined with a sensational catch by Rizwan, who was brilliant all innings – was the fulcrum of the turning point. The last 14 overs would see just 83 runs scored as New Zealand lost all seven remaining wickets, bowled out in the 50th over. Latham and Cole McConchie looked like they might take up the baton, but none could truly continue the onslaught. Mir struck to remove Latham and Afridi dismissed McConchie for little more than a cameo.

New Zealand’s lack of batting firepower in the lower order was suddenly exposed, and it was left to Ravindra to provide the bulk of the runs. He would do so valiantly as wickets continued to tumble at the other end before he, too, fell to Rauf for a 20-ball 28. That left New Zealand nine down, with the final wicket coming with three balls still to go, as a direct hit found Ish Sodhi well short of his ground.

New Zealand were aware they’d need something special from their bowlers to walk away with something to show for this ODI series. Their best showing all tour demonstrated a depleted New Zealand had fought right to the end.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

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