New Zealand beats Pakistan by 119 runs in 2nd ODI
NAPIER, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand made an emphatic statement of form Tuesday in its last official limited-overs international before the Cricket World Cup, compiling 369-5 on its way to a crushing 119-run win over Pakistan to complete a 2-0 sweep of their two-match series.
Kane Williamson made 112 from 88 balls and Ross Taylor an unbeaten 102 from 70 deliveries after New Zealand won the toss and took full advantage of a pristine batting pitch at McLean Park - a World Cup venue.
Pakistan crumbled in the face of the express pace of Adam Milne, who took 2-52, the less threatening medium slow offerings of Grant Elliott who took 2-35 and the part-time spin of Nathan McCullum (2-33).
New Zealand won the first ODI on Saturday by seven wickets and its win follows it 4-2 series victory over Sri Lanka, its first World Cup opponent.
Captain Brendon McCullum said that while New Zealand took confidence from its win Tuesday, it remained respectful of any team it would face during the World Cup.
“We have to be happy with where we’re at,” he said. “We’ve played two of what you’d probably call the perfect games and the challenge now is to keep the momentum we’ve built up over the last little while.”
Pakistan was never on track to chase down New Zealand’s imposing total, which was its fifth-highest ODI total and its highest against Pakistan.
Mohammad Hafeez made 86 from 89 balls and Ahmed Shehzad made 55 from 62 in an 111-run opening stand. But even by its end, when Shehzad became the first of Nathan McCullum’s victims and the first of two batsmen caught in the same position on the boundary by Adam Milne, Pakistan’s asking rate was already imposing.
Trent Boult was restrictive with the new ball and spinner Daniel Vettori, introduced as first change, bowled his 10 overs for 41 runs.
When Pakistan was forced to hit out, Hafeez and Shehzad perished to catches on the mid-wicket boundary taken by Milne.
After the openers were dismissed, the next-best effort came from captain Misbah-ul-Haq who made 45.
“We need to improve a lot in every area, especially we need to improve our batting and also our bowling,” MIsbah said. “We gave away 370 runs and while New Zealand played well we need to improve our bowling.”
New Zealand’s batting performance was outstanding. Williamson posted his sixth ODI century as he carries rich form toward the World Cup.
Taylor blasted his way into form with his 12th century. After entering the final over 12 runs short of his 100, he hit four from the first ball from Bilawal Bhatti then played and missed at three deliveries before he hit six and four from the last two balls of the innings to finish 102 not out.
Another part of New Zealand’s World Cup preparation clicked into place when Martin Guptill made 76 in a timely return to form.