Pak v NZ - 1st ODI Highlights - 2nd ODI Preview
Another Afridi show! When Lala turns it on, he turns it on style!
The match followed a very Pakistani script. The opposition was put into bat first and reduced to 111-5. They were let off the hook by our bowling and their sloggers to somehow reach 246 in 50 overs. Pakistan starts the chase and are themselves 124-6 in the 31st over. Out comes Lala and the rest is history.
There were quite a few things of note that us Pakistani fans will be happy to see.
Haris Sohail had a solid and mature innings to help chase the total with Afridi. Furthermore he put in a solid shift with the bowl and giving Pakistan an option for its sixth bowler.
Afridi also had a measured innings for his standards. It is always great to see Afridi knock the ball to all parts of the ground, but what is refreshing to see is that he is beginning to slightly display maturity and consistency in his play.
Irfan was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up three wickets but eventually went for runs. It his first match back in the side after a while so it is good he is still in wicket taking form leading up to the world cup.
On the flip side, Pakistan let New Zealand off the hook with half the side back in the pavilion at 111. At that point, you can't let the opposition score more than 200 but NZ attacked our bowling similar to the third Test. We were not able to bowl them out either which is a bit worrying to me.
In the chase, our top order more or less collapsed only winning eventually due to Haris and Afridi heroics. Vettori's bowl to trap Younis was one hell of a delivery. Overall a great win but we need to improve for a better run at the World Cup this year.
Scorecard Source - Cricinfo
Source - Cricinfo
Preview - 2nd ODI:
I don't think any changes will be made to the sides that played the first match. Sharjah is high scoring batting pitch where traditionally the side that bats first has the advantage of exploiting spin friendly conditions later. Teams batting first have won 66 of 125 matches and the highest total chased down there was 285 for 4 by West Indies against Pakistan in November 1993.
The toss will play an important part, but I expect Pakistan to improve with bat and ball, take 2-0 lead in the series.