It was a hard-fought ODI series – Kane Williamson on 2-1 victory over Pakistan

New Zealand won thanks to Glenn Phillips' unbeaten 63, which stopped a collapse

With an unbeaten 63 off 42 balls, Glenn Phillips led New Zealand to victory in their pursuit of 281 by executing a masterful counterattack to wrest the match—and with it, the series—from Pakistan’s grasp. 

With an unbeaten 63 off 42 balls, Glenn Phillips led New Zealand to victory in their pursuit of 281 by executing a masterful counterattack to wrest the match—and with it, the series—from Pakistan’s grasp. 

When the guests needed an additional 76 runs from 71 deliveries and had only four wickets left, the hosts had one hand on the series championship trophy. 

The first ODI series victory for New Zealand over Pakistan in at least two games was secured with 11 balls remaining by Phillips, who was already on 16 off 8 balls after smashing two sixes.

Despite having a stomach ache, Phillips smashed four fours and six sixes in a row to completely change the course of the game in just a few overs. 

When he chipped Mohammad Wasim over mid-on for four and then swung Haris Rauf for six over deep midwicket in the subsequent over, New Zealand needed 75 off the final 69 balls. And shortly after, Wasim attempted the slower ball, which was deposited wide of long-on for six additional runs.

With nine overs remaining, New Zealand therefore only needed less than a run every ball, and Phillips smacked Rauf through extra cover for four more runs. He reached fifty in the 43rd over off 28 deliveries, which is the second-fastest score by a New Zealander against Pakistan in ODIs. 

As if to put an end to Pakistan’s last shred of hope, Mohammad Rizwan dropped Phillips’ subsequent delivery after failing to hold on to a short pitch from Usama Mir that deviated and took an outside edge.

With only Mitchell Santner and the tail needed to score 35 runs from seven overs and three wickets in hand, New Zealand would have been in a difficult situation if that had been taken. It’s possible that as the opposition watched Phillips score the winning runs, thoughts of what-might-have-been persisted in their minds. 

A sniff of hope was given to Pakistan when New Zealand collapsed from 160 for 2 to 205 for 6. Kane Williamson and Devon Conway each scored fifty, and they added 75 runs for the second wicket to set up their team’s successful chase. 

Conway was caught by Agha Salman in the 31st over after slicing to point, and he was out for 52. As New Zealand lost their way, Williamson was run out for 53, Bracewell and Tom Latham were chopped on in quick succession.

Pakistan’s innings earlier in the day was broken up into three parts: after falling to 21 for 2 and needing a 153-run partnership from Fakhar Zaman and Rizwan to save them, Salman took over in the dying stages. 

Rizwan was out for a quick 77 from 74 balls while Fakhar was out for 101 in an innings that was uncharacteristic of him and required 122 deliveries to reach the mark. Before Salman’s four fours and a six in a 45-pitch entrepreneurial inning, those were the only noteworthy contributions from the top five.

A score of at least 300 seemed possible when Ish Sodhi removed Rizwan with a googly in the 34th over, but regular wickets kept the visitors in check on a non-turning surface.

When Williamson questioned a not-out ruling against Shan Masood and Latham stumped Babar Azam for the third time in as many games, Pakistan had already lost Babar Azam and Babar Azam. Shan Masood was playing in his first ODI since March 2019. 

Before Babar played for the turn and fell over in the crease, Williamson appeared to be the only one who thought Masood had edged ahead.

Fakhar and Rizwan had to start over as a result. Williamson began using spin in the fifth over, and Fakhar decided to loosen the reins in the tenth over when he tickled and punched Santner for fours. Overall, though, Rizwan was busier at the crease and the left-hander was content to simply move it around.

Additionally, after Rizwan was dismissed in the 34th over, New Zealand’s replacement fielders contributed to the loss of nearly all of the remaining wickets: Henry Nicholls ran Fakhar and Haris Sohail out, caught Mir at deep midwicket, and Doug Bracewell sent Salman back 45 runs when the batter holed out to deep square leg. 

As if to repay the favour, Pakistan’s replacement Tayyab Tahir forced Finn Allen to the ground to score a goal for his team.

But in the end, Phillips would have the last word, erasing Fakhar’s century, Rizwan’s attacking knock, and perhaps everything else that had occurred on the tour.

New Zealand 281 for 8 (Phillips 63*, Williamson 53, Conway 52, Salman 2-42) beat Pakistan 280 for 9 (Fakhar 101, Rizwan 77, Southee 3-56) by two wickets