Conway hundred aids spin-heavy New Zealand’s surprise victory over Pakistan
The attacking tenacity of Devon Conway and Kane Williamson before that gave their spin-heavy attack a defendable total to work with. New Zealand suffered a late collapse of 6 for 37 on a slow, grippy Karachi pitch.
After Pakistan’s pursuit of 262 was launched by Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson, the New Zealand spin quartet muzzled the visitors with their subtle variations and forced the series into a decider on Friday.
Babar Azam gave Pakistan some hope despite wickets falling around him with 79 off 114 balls, but he was unable to find a higher gear to keep the asking rate in check.
With constant stump attacks and restraint in his length, Mitchell Santner did what he does best. Michael Bracewell, who plays more of an all-around batting role for Wellington in his home country, was the most frugal spinner, returning 1 for 29 in his ten overs.
Henry Shipley was replaced by Ish Sodhi, who bowled into the ground and frequently drew mishits from Pakistan’s batters. The prized scalp of Babar, the second-to-last Pakistani batter to be dismissed, was claimed by the leg spinner, virtually guaranteeing New Zealand’s series-tying victory.
In an ODI World Cup year, Glenn Phillips, who is now a reluctant wicketkeeper due to a back condition, helped New Zealand increase its spin stock by trapping Haris Sohail leg before wicket. Together, the spinners had figures of 30-0-114-5.
Ferguson and Southee set the tone for New Zealand’s effective defense. Six inswingers were used to challenge Fakhar Zaman before Southee ran one away from the left-hander on a length appropriate for a Test match and kissed his outside edge. gone in search of a duck seven.
Several New Zealand fast bowlers were sidelined due to injury, so Ferguson and Southee took the new ball and bowled Imam-ul-Haq out with a 153 kph bouncer.
Together, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan repaired the innings by scoring 55 runs for the third wicket, but it took them 99 balls to get there. The asking rate was continually raised by the New Zealand spinners, who also forced errors from Pakistan’s batters. Babar attempted to extend the chase as far as he could, but his team was dismissed in 43 overs.
Mohammad Nawaz thrived on the slow pitch earlier in the day, finding grip and turn with even his quick darts. There was more to Nawaz’s bowling than just grip and turn. In the 35th over, a delightful concoction of drift, dip, and turn managed to get past Williamson’s defenses.
One of the best spinners in the New Zealand lineup, Tom Latham, was undone by a skid and a zip off a moderately slow pitch. In New Zealand’s 6 for 37 collapse, he was responsible for four wickets.
Naseem Shah once again struck in his first over as Pakistan got off to a strong start. The fast bowler had Finn Allen slashing a catch to Nawaz at short cover for 1 in the second ODI after having Conway dismissed for a golden duck in the first. After that, Williamson and Conway worked together for a crucial 181-run second wicket partnership.
Conway struggled with timing in those early exchanges and frequently lost his shape when he attempted to overhit the ball. Williamson, in contrast, was in charge from the beginning.
The New Zealand captain began his inning with a signature dab to deep third before showing more ferocity during the powerplay. He shovelled Mohammad Wasim in the air over midwicket for fours and scythed Naseem over backward point for two more. Conway joined Williamson in the same over after Williamson reached his half-century off 52 balls.
In the 22nd over, Williamson was then granted two reprieves in a span of four balls. Wasim spliced a pull to midwicket, where Haris dropped an overhead coach, when he first dug one into the pitch. After Wasim touched Williamson’s glove with a ball, Rizwan, the wicketkeeper, missed a chance three balls later.
Conway then began to play at the peak of his fluency, utilizing a variety of hard sweeps, including the reverse, to counter Pakistan’s spinners. In order to reach triple figures, he only needed 32 more balls after scoring his first fifty off of 57.
Conway took part-time spinner Agha Salman for 12 off eight balls and helped take him out of the attack when Babar attempted to wheedle a few quiet overs from him. Conway even charged Wasim and audaciously scored a six-pointer by pumping him over.
When it seemed like he would be able to score more runs, Naseem created a wicket before Nawaz took control and destroyed the middle order of New Zealand.
Prior to being run out on the penultimate ball of the inning, Santner fought valiantly in the dying stages of the game, scoring 37 runs off 40 balls. Despite Babar’s opposition, he also stepped up with the ball and made sure Pakistan had no chance of coming back.