Pakistan shares series with New Zealand as rain ends 3rd ODI
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Rain denied Pakistan any chance of winning its first ODI series against New Zealand since 2011 as the third and final game was abandoned Sunday.
New Zealand, missing injured regular captain Kane Williamson, was 35-1 in 6.5 overs in reply to Pakistan’s 279-8 when rain in Dubai prevented further play and both teams shared the series 1-1.
Earlier, three half centuries by Babar Azam (92), Fakhar Zaman (65) and Haris Sohail (60) propelled Pakistan to a strong total despite fast bowler Lockie Ferguson’s (5-45) first five-wicket haul in limited overs games.
New Zealand won the first match by 47 runs before Pakistan came back strongly and leveled the series 1-1 with a six-wicket win.
Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi had struck on the second delivery when Colin Munro was undone by pace and was clean bowled without scoring.
George Worker was unbeaten on 18 and Henry Nicholls was not out on 15 before rain forced the players off the field.
New Zealand’s frontline paceman Trent Boult, who had a hat trick in the first game, was the prime target of Pakistan’s batsmen. The left-armer couldn’t get a wicket in the second match and finished with his second most expensive ODI figures of 1-80 off 10 overs on Sunday.
Mohammad Hafeez replaced injured Imam-ul-Haq at the top order as Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat.
Zaman and Hafeez were unruffled by New Zealand in a 64-run first-wicket stand before Hafeez went too deep in his crease while playing Ferguson and was out hit wicket as he dislodged the bails with his back heel.
Zaman scored his second successive half century before he holed out in the deep while attempting a big shot off Colin de Grandhomme.
Pakistan shifted gears once Sohail joined Azam as the left-hander played aggressively during his 59-ball knock, which featured six fours and two sixes.
Sohail raised his half century with a pulled six off leg-spinner Ish Sohil.
Sohail and Zaman shared a run-a-ball 108 for the third wicket before Ferguson beat Sohail off a slower delivery and Worker picked up a smart low catch at square leg boundary.
Azam should have been caught on 80 but Nicholls dropped a sitter before the fielder made amends and had Azam caught in the penultimate over.
Ferguson grabbed three wickets in the last over by having Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf clean bowled and Hasan Ali was caught off the last delivery.