Pakistan's way of winning one day internationals has always been to preserve wickets for first half of the innings and then attack whole heartedly in second half but often, they'll forget their successful formula and face defeat. Today, at Christchurch despite losing the toss and invited in to bat first on one of greeniest pitches you'll ever see, Pakistan managed to bat out their quota of overs and ended up winning the game quite comfortably..
Mohammad Hafeez has been in form for past 6 months but big scores had eluded him till today as he maintained his composure despite losing opening partner Ahmed Shahzad and no.3 Kamran Akmal in first 4 overs. Wind was blowing heavy at AMI stadium and after 48 runs, Younis Khan too perished to lanky Jacob Oram, giving home team an opening they could have drove home the advantage from but Misbah-ul-Haq and Hafeez's rear guard batting stretched visiting side to 150 in 37th over and now, it was time to attack. Umar Akmal started it all but Shahid Afridi ended up scoring a half century of just 19 balls.
(Fastest ODI fifties).
Pakistan scored 126 runs from last 10 overs, including 72 from batting power play.
New Zealand began their ambitious chase solidly but scoring rate never really exceeded the asking rate and hence demand kept on rising on each batsman coming in. Despite useful contributions from middle order, Kiwis ended up allowing Pakistan into the series, leveled at 1-1.
Man of the match = Mohammad Hafeez.
Scorecard : Pakistan v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Christchurch, 29 January 2011 :-